A creation of West senior TJ Morris finds a temporary home in my office

Lapeer West senior TJ Morris and I talked through some of the finer points of his Tyrannosaurus sculpture this morning in Mr. Bolzman’s first hour art class. TJ’s work is now on display in my office.

This morning, in a hallway at Lapeer West High School, West Principal Tim Zeeman and I talked about the truly amazing work young artists there are churning out on a daily basis. I wish I held in common just a portion of their tremendous artistic ability; since I don’t, I’ll just continue to marvel at what these students can do.

In Mr. Bolzman’s first hour class I met a great example of a creative, talented and hard-working artist — and I have something to show for it. A creation of West senior TJ Morris, a perfectly-proportioned Tyrannosaurus, is now on display in my office at the Administration & Services Center. The piece is well-traveled, having been on display at the Flint Public Library and Gallery 194 in downtown Lapeer in recent months.

The paper mache sculpture has a wire and cardboard armature with newspaper filler for muscles. TJ used a material called “celluclay” (cellulose attic insulation and clear glue) for the exterior along with primer and acrylic paint.

The beast’s eyes, I learned, were actually poached from a stuffed animal he had at home (now that’s what I call resourceful).

All told, the project took TJ between 40-50 hours — many of those hours were outside of class.

Mr. Bolzman had many impressive works of art to choose from, but I’m glad he suggested TJ’s piece to represent West’s tremendous art program.

TJ will graduate in June and prepare for an internship at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta. Best of luck TJ!

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