Travels in his youth between
his birthplace in California, his parents birthplace in Michigan, and where the
family eventually settled in Louisiana gave plenty of scenic inspiration to
Steve Zihlavsky as a child, especially the great many state and national parks
he visited; Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Redwood, Seguaro,
Sequoia, Yellowstone, and Yosemite to name a few as of age four. Although a
creations' natural beauty is among his favorite expressions in art, he knew he
could never improve on perfection, and so, leans toward the expression of
thought and quirks unusual in much of his work.
|Stained Paper Towel Window|
Music and art were always commonplace in the Zihlavsky home, both parents playing multiple instruments, singing and a variety of artistic talents as well. Art was encouraged at an early age, but each of the children were allowed to express themselves however they chose. Being poor allowed only so much in the way of artistic supplies, this is where Steve excelled in creativity and ingenuity. Paper, cardboard, glue, pencils, crayons and the like were always readily available, and, he made the most of them, as well anything else he could repurpose. The late Mrs. Virginia Strahan, Steves' 7th grade art teacher was likely the most influential force in his youth, as she inspired him and educated him in numerous genres of art, and even unbeknownst to him, submitted his art in a contest at the local library which, after winning several 1st and 2nd place ribbons, gave him the goad to continue pursuing his passion.
Emerging to the professional art scene, Steve has only participated in regional (Northwest Louisiana) art shows and events such as Artini with the Bossier Arts Council, the Fine Arts Market on the Bossier Boardwalk, Art Walk at Villaggio, and the Spring Arts Festival in Minden, LA. He has produced and collaborated on several murals in private homes, and as contract labor with Alice Bahler on the Tourist Bureau Welcome Center mural in downtown Shreveport, LA.
Recently his art was part of 'Bona Fide 2' and 'Critical Mass' at ArtsSpace in Shreveport, Louisiana, and for the grand opening of Central Art Station, the new home of Shreveport Regional Arts Council. Private collections account for most of his sales, but much more can be seen on his facebook page: Steve Zihlavsky – Artist.
In Steve's own words:
"I make things.
It can be a crystal clear vision that inspires or an incendiary desire to make without any idea where to start, be complete in a day, or take months, years, decades to find the end. Each of my creations are cared for as a child, including getting occasional bumps, bruises, and discipline and, just the right attention. I put no date on most anymore, for so many of them gestate for lengths of time unknown, and I do not recall when the inception began.
I almost exclusively use found items, job site refuse, trash and reclaimed materials, partly to keep such out of the landfills, but mostly because I see the continued usefulness of them to pretty up the world we live in. It is a lot more labor using these materials than pristine items from the art store, but gives me hope that even the worst of who we are and what we make on this planet can be improved on, rejuvenated, and maximized. Our disposable society may see little or no use for what it chucks to the curb but, if possible, I and artists like myself hope to change that.
I'm not attempting to make a statement with my art – there is no political or environmental agenda – but I do want people to know what it is they discard, often, has great potential, especially in the wasteful world we live in. I leave the mill marks and rust on reclaimed wood and metal or, otherwise allow the obviously discarded character of my materials to shine through with its' own beauty or story. This is one of many facets of my art and why I make it using the materials I do.
There is no end to that which inspires me and, until I'm out of my mind or breath, I'll continue with the making of things." -Steve Zihlavsky
The Gallery Fine Art Center is a project of the Bossier Arts Council and is made possible through the generous contributions of Meredith Hamrick, Ken and Sharon McGivney, Marcy Everett and the Airline Plaza. For more information on these artists, the Bossier Arts Council and the Gallery Fine Art Center please call (318) 741-8310 or check out out website, www.bossierarts.org