When Art Found Me: John Steed

“When Art Found Me” in a series of human interest pieces that Waterfall Arts is piloting, in a broad-stroke effort to more narrowly hone in on the people directly in our “inner circle,” so that you may get to know us a little bit better. Starting with our staff and expanding our circle, we respond to the prompt: Tell us a story of when art found you.

Next up: Board Member John Steed.

“Art ‘found’ me when I was in my late teens / early twenties.  There was no catalyzing moment, but a more drawn out awakening. 

My first job after high school was working for an art glass business.  I was hired on as a fleet mechanic, and quickly became a shop foreman for manufacturing the tools for art glass after I fixed all of the company vehicles.  I was captivated by all of the books on art glass that we stocked.

A book on Narcissus Quagliata was particularly striking, how he manipulated a medium and took it to its absolute full physical potential.

I would also often peruse through our glass stock, admiring the amazing colors from Bullseye.

Manufacturing crew from Sundance Art Glass, circa 1998.  My artist friend Mike Suri is to the left of me. Photo courtesy: John Steed

I was simultaneously influenced by my best friend (and co-worker) who was pursuing his artistic passion through the exploration of metal sculpture. I spent many late evenings walking through the Rodan sculpture garden talking about art and philosophy.

Traveling in my mid-twenties fully entrenched this love of art when I stumbled upon amazing museums in France, sculptures in Spain (Chilida’s Wind Combs come to mind), and architecture in India (the Taj Mahal and the Baha’i Lotus Temple in New Delhi).  I feel grateful for the life experiences that first drew me to art, my continued friendship with an accomplished artist who continues to inspire me, and my fortune to work on the board of a fantastic art organization.

Did John’s story spark something inside of you? Tell us a story of when art found you. Email us and share an image with your story from that moment in time. Help us expand our circle even wider than before.