Kreutzer’s art and life have a hint of whimsy about them. He was no more than a boy when he discovered art, and at forty, with boyish eagerness, he jumps from subject to subject, from the rhythm of the human figure to wildlife and nature, wanting to sample and attack everything like a child in a candy shop. “There’s a lot to be said for experimentation,” he says. “I’ve heard it said that consistency in an artist’s work gives a sense of maturity. I know that jumping around in subject or medium may seem a bit flighty, but, at the same time, maybe I can come up with something that is just a little bit different.” Quite aware of the fine line between emotionalism and sentimentalism, he goes on to say that one of his goals is to build more emotion into his work, to create an emotional response by the viewer.
He was born on the Pineridge Reservation in South Dakota, where his father worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Jack loved playing with clay, drawing and coloring from an early age and decided at age eight that he was going to be an artist. He tagged along to his sister’s college drawing course at age fourteen and discovered sculpture the following year. Kreutzer calls the time after graduating from high school “the kicking-around years” because the places and situations he found himself in were always connected with art. He spent a year in a track gang for the Santa Fe Railroad, endearing himself by rendering sweethearts and mothers from his co-workers’ wallet photos. Soon after, he landed at the Sonnenberg Gardens near Canadaigua, New York, where he became the artist in residence, drawing and studying the Garden’s extensive sculpture collection. Eventually, he returned to school, enrolling in Colorado State University, and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1977.
Since then, Kreutzer has produced more than 40 sculptures while working full time at two of the largest foundries in the west, both in Loveland, Colorado. He worked first at Art Castings of Colorado until 1987, and then at Loveland Scuplture Works until 1993, when he gave up the security of regular work to pursue his art full-time. Maintaining his studio near the foundries and next door to the Loveland Academy of Fine Arts where he teaches, Kreutzer is right where he wants to be: independent, artistic, and with a lot to express.