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PROFILE: JAMES L. CROW...ARTIST
January 8, 1981

Pix #1 - The Crow's stallion, Chevalier's Avenger

Pix #2 - "Olympic Show Jumper" done in pencil and reproduced in 100 limited edition prints for the Olympic Equestrian Team.

(Editor's Note: From time-to-time this column presents profiles about people born and raised in Fostoria who have been successful in their careers. Often, these profiles have been about mature individuals, who had already reached the pinnacle of success, not about those who are achieving and still progressing. Today's profile is about a younger former Fostorian whi is in the latter category).

James L. Crow, was born Nov. 17, 1933 to Otto and Anna Crow in Fostoria.

Part of his early schooling was in Columbus, but he returned here where Jim received his high school education, graduating in 1951.

During Jim's years at FHS, he was on the football team, when Dick Small was head coach. Playing at guard, even though not a large boy, he was named the most valuable player in 1951, the same year he was captain.

Jim was a good student and active in school affairs, according to the records He was a member of the Tr-Delta Chapter of HI-Y his last three years; class treasurer during his junior yearl football last three on the HI-Y Council; Art Club last three years; National Honor Society in his senior year.

His interest in art, which goes back to his childhood led him to his present profession, which I'll discuss later. His sister, Mrs. Harold (Lucille) Hemrick, 632 Fostoria St. told me that as a boy her younger brother was always drawing and playing with molding clay. She recalls that his materials always cluttered the library table on which they studied and worked. Back then, when the older children in the family pushed him around, Jim would say "You'll be sorry when I grow up and am famous". That's the spirit for success.

ART MAJOR - WOOSTER

In the fall of 1951, Jim entered Wooster College. I suspect that his record as a football player at FHS was relayed to the Athelic Department at Wooster through Virgil "Poody" Switzer, a graduate of that college and then editor of The Review Times.

The following letter from Phil Shipe, retired football coach at The College of Wooster, provides an accurate description of Crow's record as athlete and student there:

Paul H. Krupp:

"I have been asked to respond to your letter of Dec. 15 concerning Jim L. Crow. James Crow was recruited in 1951 to come to The College of Wooster. 1951 was the last year that off-campus recruiting was permitted by the Ohio Athletic Conference. I remember talking to his parents in their little grocery store in Fostoria".

"Jim Corw only weighed 157 pounds (and this was still his weight four years later when he graduated from Wooster) and he was a lineman. Pound for pound, blood drop for blood-drop, and ounce for ounce in intelligence, he had to be one of the finest football players I ever had anything to do with. He combined all this with the not too common qualities of being a good student and a gentleman".

"During the four years that Jim played for Wooster we had the following records: 1951 - 6-3; 1952 - 7-1-1; 1953 - 5-1-1; and 1954 - 6-3. Jim played offensive tackle for The College of Wooster and was not given any honors except by the Wooster coaching staff. We rated him an outstanding lineman due to the fact that he did more with leverage and intelligence, which he needed to do because of his size. He was a great factor in four successful winning season for Wooster. His ability in art in college and after college is well- known. When I look back over 27 years of coaching high school and college athletes in football, I consider Jim Crow, in all qualities that a man should be measured by, as one of the finest".

Art Murray, on the editorial staff at The Fostoria Daily Review many years ago, and later in the Athletic Department at Wooster, saw to it that Switzer received publicity about Crow's achievements for the hometown fans.

Jim graduated from Wooster in 1955 with a BA degree in art. That same year he went to work for Central Press Association, King Features Syndicate, Cleveland.

From 1956-1961, he worked at American Greeting Card Corp., Cleveland, as senior professional artist, art supervisor and litho proofreader.

Jim became a free-lance artist from 1961-1973, doing work for American Greeting Card Corp., Rust Craft, U.S. Playing Card. Whitman Publishing Co., Stan Craft, Brown & Bigelow and Designs Limited.

Jim also worked at The Times Reporter, New Philadelphia, as reporter, art director and staff artist from 1973-1979.

Crow's work in oils, acrylics and water colors has been exhibited at Cleveland May Show; Butler Institure of Art, Canton, and Ohio State Fair.

OWN HORSE FARM

But, with the success he already had earned as a commercial artist, Jim wanted to have more freedom from schedules and deadlines. He had become an ardent producer of artwork featuring horses. In July 1979, driving near Lexington, KY, Jim and his wife Molley saw a nine-acre horse farm for sale. It had a brick ranch home and red barn, overlooking Herrington Lake, near Burgin. They bought it and took the first step to achieve the dreams of both of them.

I like all types of art, Crow said, but painting horses is my love, and it seemed like the way to go. Jim's wife is a horse trainer and their two daughters, Tammy 23, lived in Lexington and works for Pendelton Farm as head groomer. Tracy, 21 is a groom for Bill Becker Saddlehorse Stable, Concord, N.C. and her ambition is to become a trainer like her mother.

WIFE IS HORSE TRAINER

Jim and Molley met at Wooster College. she is also a riding instructor. When the Crow's lived at New Philiadelphia, she operated the Four T Farm for eight years. It was a family operation, with everyone participating, including Jim.

Now the Crows are settled on their Kentucky farm and continue to operate their Four T Farm. I asked Jim, how the farm came to be called by that name. I twas easy to explain...they have four children and all their names start with "T" Ted, a staff artist with Times-Reporter, New Philadelphia; Tom, working on his master's degree at Marshall, in education; Tammy and Tracy.

Four T now breeds and sells American saddlebred horses on a small scale. They have a stallion and three mares, and their first colt crop was last spring.

According to an article appearing in The Kentucky Advocate, part of which is excerpted with permission:

HORSES HAVE PERSONALITY

Crow's predominate challenge is capturing a horse's personality on canvas. Each horse is an individual and the clue to that is in their eyes. I have to see their eyes closeup, then I feel confident I can do a good job, Crow says.

Crow says if he has to paint the horse from a photography without actually seeing the animal, he can do everything right, except capturing the personality is a question mark. To get the action of the horse corrected he tries to use a real-life sitting plus a photograph. Crow makes a polariod photograph so he can match the animal's true color and texture directly to the paint he selects to use on the canvas. The color and personality of the horse are the hardest to capture. If they are not right, then he could be any horse, says Crow.

A highly detail painting usually requires 40-50 hours of Crow's skilled attention. His paintings and sketches range from $200 to $4,000.

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