East senior's architectural renderings

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 2, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — With the stroke of an ordinary pencil, Dean Crouch brings buildings to life.
The East Rowan senior has been sketching architectural drawings of famous structures like Paris’ Eiffel Tower and London’s Big Ben since his freshman year.
And his works also include nearby gems such as the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Health and Human Services Building.
Although Crouch has dabbled in other genres, architecture has always been his passion.
“Architecture is more orderly and it focuses on the aesthetic values and function at the same time,” he said.
Crouch’s drawings are currently on display at Waterworks Visual Arts Center, 123 East Liberty St., as part of the summer exhibition titled “In the Details.”
He won the opportunity to have his work showcased alongside four professional artists through his selection as the ninth annual Dare to Imagine award winner.
“This special award honors one Rowan County graduating senior whose artwork most exemplifies the creative potential of the unique human spirit, art and hand,” Anne Scott Clement, executive director of Waterworks, said during the opening reception last week.
Crouch will also receive a $1,000 scholarship provided by Susan and Edward Norvell.
Waterworks received about nine submissions for the award this year, and Clement said Crouch’s work stood out.
“The student selected for this award shows the strongest range of ideas, originality and technical talent among the portfolios presented,” Clement said.
Clement called Crouch’s work outstanding, adding that it was “very intricate and meticulously executed.”
Crouch’s grandmother, Barbara Swain Crouch, was thrilled to see his work on display at Waterworks.
“I think it’s just wonderful, but I’m not the least bit surprised,” she said. “He’s been drawing and building as long as he could pick up a pencil or block.”
Although Crouch has been drawing since he was a child, his work took off in high school.
“Taking art classes really helped me produce higher-quality pieces,” he said.
Arlene Cooper, Crouch’s art I and II teacher at East, said she’s seen him excel in everything.
“It didn’t matter if it was pencil, palette knife painting or charcoal,” she said. “He was always very focused, very driven, very meticulous and very detailed in everything he did.”
Cooper said from day one Crouch has been working to build his portfolio for architecture school.
“Rather than taking courses to strengthen my GPA I wanted to focus on the career aspect of my education,” he said.
He’ll be attending UNC-Charlotte in the fall to study architecture.
“It’s very obvious that he’s got talent,” Cooper said. “It’s an honor to be accepted, they don’t take just anybody.”
But art isn’t Crouch’s only extracurricular. He’s also an active member of the National Honor Society, Spanish club, National Art Honor Society, drafting club and the science honor society.
“He’s very well-rounded,” Cooper said. “He doesn’t just take the basic classes.”
The summer exhibition will be up through Aug. 13.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.