Combining the love of art and history
An amazing and unusual display graces the second level of the Crook County Courthouse.
A scaled model of three historic and iconic buildings in Prineville are now on display for the public to view; the Bowman Museum, the Crook County Courthouse, and the old Bank Drug building across from Bowman Museum. That building is now owned by Tanny Staffordson and houses Edward Jones Investments.
Lonnie Sikes, a former Prineville resident, crafted the replicas from his home in Southern California. Upon completion, Sikes sent out a plea on Facebook to see if there would be any interested takers of the completed models. Crook County Commissioner Jerry Brummer saw the post on Facebook.
"I got on Facebook and told him, 'Give me a call and I will take care of them for you,' so I did. I called him and I told him, 'We want them,'" said Brummer of the post from Sikes.
Sikes agreed to mail them if Brummer would handle them once they arrived. Once the did arrive, Brummer began looking for the best location to display them. The models are too large for the Bowman Museum. Brummer enlisted the help of the county maintenance crew to find a place for the models and to build a resting place once they found the right location.
"I didn't want it to go somewhere and just get put in a back room," added Brummer.
Crook County Clerk Cheryl Seely suggested putting it on the second floor of the courthouse. Jim Brinkley headed up the project to build a platform to hold the models. Brummer wanted to show off the artwork on behalf of Sikes' work on the display.
"I am an artist and craftsman at heart," commented Sikes of his love for doing artwork. "I have never worked as that—I had a job in the medical industry, but I was an artist and still am."
Sikes likes to do different kinds of artwork, and he chose to try a different medium with scaled down models of buildings. He also believes in recycling or upcycling materials, so he chose to use cardboard and Styrofoam.
"Being from Prineville, the nostalgic connection is amazing," Sikes noted of his choice to do the Prineville buildings for an art project. "I have never been able to understand it. I had a good childhood and just loved living in Prineville when I was a kid, and that has never left, even though I left Prineville."
He moved when he was 18 after graduating from Crook County High School in 1960 to join the Marine Corps and moved back briefly after getting out of the service before going to college.
"Being an artist and craftsman has always kept me busy and kept me out of depression. It gave me something to look forward to and something to do," he went on to say. "I just love doing art, and I go through different phases."
He has done stained glass, drawing, painting, sketching and pen and ink. He has also built model houses and other structures, which inspired him to do the buildings that are now at the courthouse.
"I like to work with recycled materials, so those are made out of just Styrofoam and cardboard—all free materials. I paid for the paint, of course. That's not the object—the object is just to make something from recycled materials."
To make the models, Sikes guessed on the scale and used a variety of photos to create the models of the buildings.
The display is now ready for viewing during business hours on the second floor of the Crook County Courthouse, next to the clerk's office.
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