Gallery Talk with Steven Lester: August 3rd @ 11am.
Free admission! Refreshments provided.
Growing up in Atlanta, Steven always had an enthusiasm for sports and while taking art in school, he was commissioned to illustrate a series of GameDay program covers for Georgia Tech football. After graduating from Georgia State University with a degree in Visual Arts, he began his career as a commercial illustrator and soon became the Creative Director of Turner Broadcasting System. Because this was during the years Ted Turner owned the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Hawks, Steven was able to meet a number of the players and became a fascinated fan.
By this time, he had already cultivated a love for action-oriented sports art. But his fast-track creative design and advertising career allowed little time for painting. He soon became a highly successful Vice President, Creative Director for two international advertising agencies, winning more than 100 national and international awards.
When Steven and his wife adopted 2 children, he found himself traveling and becoming a conflicted, absentee father. After considerable deliberation, he made a conscious career change, resigning from the advertising agency to attend seminary. For the next 20 years, he pastored churches and pioneered numerous, creative ministry and missions initiatives. He also began focusing his creative skills advancing causes and issues that are of value to him. He had the privilege of traveling the world and making life-long friends from Russia to India to Africa. But again, he had very little time for cultivating a passion for drawing and painting.
After 4 decades of focusing on other priorities and beginning to lean toward retirement, Steven purposed to spend the next 3 years honing his fine art craft. Five years later, he has now joyfully shifted his focus and fully embraced his love of painting.
This exhibit is a colorful and joyful observance of goats in a barnyard. In abstracted style, I have tried to imply the attitudes of goats as they climb trees, speak to each other in “goat speak,” or just as they gaze at the viewer.
Wildlife and nature are major inspirations for my paintings and artwork. I’ve been told that I am a colorist, which influences my art as well. Having a background and degree in graphic design, I love the inherent beauty defined by simple black and white imagery, also.
As a retired Art Teacher of 25 years, I want to show beauty in my work, but I also want to allow the viewer to take their own journey through my work and hopefully come to an appreciation for the work shown.
These sculptural works done over several years reflect my abiding interest in finding new methods for old materials, and the importance of looking at a real three-dimensional object to capture our attention for more than a moment.
For me, poetry is the language of sculpture-it alludes, examines, has substance, and reflects reality back to us in subtle ways. The poems of Robert Frost caught my attention for this show, and his words seem particularly relevant today. “Mending Wall” is an often-repeated poem in today’s discussion of border walls.
“There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
The nine sculptures Sentinels and Guardians were completed while I lived on the border in Texas. The issue of global migration is affecting societies throughout the world as climate and violence change the world. Migration has always been part of human DNA because we evolved from hunter and gatherers, following the herd. Borders and defense of territory only came about as mankind became an agrarian society, with a hierarchical social structure, and property. Images of Sentinels and Guardians are seen throughout art history, on the ruins of city gates, churches, and palaces. The record of failed societies reminds us, that one thing is sure; there is no one simple solution.
Frost’s poem of love, passion and hate, Fire And Ice, has double meaning for us as we face the effects of global warming.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
We all encounter obstacles and walls in our search for purpose. Like the old saying, what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. When we overcome obstacles our goal seems even more valuable. I hope you will find poetry and your own meaning in these works. Thank you for your contemplation and gift of looking.
Leo Tolstoy said, “All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” What is dark, what was hidden, what needs to be revealed? This exploration of light and shadow shows real and alternative realities, where objects are emphasized or subverted, and investigates the many layers that surround our traditional sense of the real. My dreams are brought to light from the dark.
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