Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Remembering Leo Stans
We sadly report the recent passing of one of our favorite Masterworks artists, Leo William Stans.
Leo Stans was born in 1953 in Minnesota, where as a youth, he and his friends spent long hours fishing, hunting and building tree houses. He assisted his parents with their paint and wallpaper business in Excelsior and helped build the beautiful Dahlgreen Golf Course, which his relatives constructed on his grandfather's farm land. An avid outdoorsman, he pursued a degree in forestry at the University of Minnesota, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. After college he held various jobs, including selling insurance. As he had always had a talent for art, he was drawn to painting wildlife and landscapes, and in 1980, he decided to become a professional artist.
He met and married a beautiful young woman named Janet Morgan. In 1991, Leo was commissioned to paint The National Park Series which was sold as framed prints. These prints were wildly successful and 100,000s were sold throughout the U.S. and Canada. With two young children, Leo and Janet moved their family to a newly-built house in the countryside of Belle Plaine. Together, they enjoyed road trips to Arizona, Las Vegas and Disney World. In 2002, seeking fresh artistic direction, he began to paint historical street scenes situated in Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as landscapes of the magnificent Southwest that he loved so well. In 2009, he was named official artist of the Minnesota State Fair.
Leo was a man of great talent, integrity and charisma, and had the rare gift of making friends wherever he went. He was sentimental and introspective, had a keen sense of humor and his kids loved to make him laugh. He was a passionate and skilled hunter and fisherman, and had a deep appreciation for wildlife and natural areas. His great love of beauty was expressed through his many paintings, which were and will continue to be recognized for their rich colors and attention to fine detail. He had great faith in his own talents, and a drive to share those talents for the benefit of others. His family is comforted by the fact that his legacy will continue on through his artwork.