- Former Navy Seabee
- Union Iron Worker in Chicago since 1997
- Erecting & Welding Structural Steel utilizing heavy equipment and rigging at great heights
- Began working in discarded objects and steel sculpture in 2015
I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago and joined the Navy at 17 years old. As a young man I traversed the world three times in aircraft, but I never sailed on a ship. I earned my way into the Navy Seabees, a combat support unit that started in World War II building runways, repairing roads, and building infrastructure in combat zones. I learned a wide variety of construction skills from carpentry to cement finishing, heavy equipment repair, welding pipe and structural steel. It was my welding experience that led me to pursue a dangerous and exciting career as a union ironworker high above the city skyline.
Some of my experiences in Mogadishu, Somalia left wounds on my mental health that were difficult to deal with. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to subdue my traumatic memories with alcohol until I sought help from the Veterans Administration. In 2014 I began to develop my skills as an artist by dismantling worn out machines. Taking apart typewriters, sewing machines, and garage door openers was something I could do to keep my hands busy when I woke from nightmares and could not go back to sleep. I began to quietly rivet and bolt together the pieces I had harvested, and I began to create small pieces of art. I purchased a welder for my garage workshop and really started to put together my earliest scrap metal sculptures. In 2018 I showed my work for the first time publicly in an art show for Chicago Veterans Art Initiative, followed shortly after by my first experience in an art gallery in Morris, Illinois. I had finally found a way to focus my racing mind and occupy my shaking hands and I was finally able to regain a sense of confidence and enjoy sharing my art with others.
I have had my work on exhibit at Northern Illinois University Art Museum, Veteran Art shows in Texas, Denver, Chicago and Michigan. I have created artwork from the famous Old Joliet Prison that is on display in the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery. I am proud to have won a national award in 2019 for using art as therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I have found a healthy way to focus my anxiety into art, and a way to inspire other veterans to pursue art and music. I am truly grateful to have supportive friends behind me as I find new opportunities to share the healing power of my art with the world.
Veteran Artist Scrap Metal Sculptor
Steve continually searches for new opportunities to share the healing power of my art with the world.
Artist Exhibit Highlights:
I specialize in mediums of, printmaking, painting, and illustration. I was born in Busan, South Korea. My works are mainly based on the observations of my childhood memories and current daily life, and a process in which I try to re-discover and re-generate those moments by synthesizing or alienating familiar objects such as cooking utensils or sewing machines. Through diverse media, I ultimately try to create intricate sympathy and narrative healing experiences as a woman. I hold BA and MFA degrees in printmaking from Hongik University under the guidance of Seungyeon Kim.
I’ve exhibited at 2019 Alumni Invitational Exhibition, Prairie Center of the Arts, Peoria, IL, L.A Modern Art Exhibition, J&J Art INC, GAIA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Shanghai International ASIA ART Festival, Shanghai, China, Seven Artists — Seven Colors in May, Daegu, Korea, Flour City Bread Company, Rochester, NY, Collaborative Print Exhibition 2008 in Asia, Tokyo, Japan, Busan Print Art Festival, Busan, Korea, Yunnan 2008 International Print Art Festival, Yunnan, China, The 42nd Korean Fine Arts Association Exhibition, Seoul, Korea, to name a few. Her honors include a First Prize, The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Seoul, Korea, Special Selection Prize from the 38th Daegu Art Competition in 2018, a Critic’s Award from the 7th Sol-ger Fine Arts Association Art Competition in 2018, a Special Selection Prize from the Busan Fine Arts Association Art Competition in 2009, and a Special Selection Prize from the 13th and 12th Heangju Art Competition. I currently reside in Chicago, IL with my spouse, composer Dongryul Lee, and our lovely child.
Hyelin Park – Vitae | 585. 683. 7188 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2008 M.F.A. Printmaking, Hongik University, Seoul, Korea. Teaching Assistant, Understanding of Printmaking, Hongik University.
- 2006 B.F.A. Printmaking, Hongik University, Seoul, Korea.
- 2020 Solo Exhibition, The movement of Sound, Pekara Bakery & Bistro, Champaign, IL, US.Boneyard Mingle: Double Take, 40 Point One 1300 Neil St, Champaign, IL, US.
- 2019 Alumni Invitational Exhibition, Prairie Center of the Arts, Peoria, IL, US. New American Welcome Week Art Exhibit, UI Research Park, Champaign, IL, US. Two-Person Exhibition, Intricate Treatment Two Person Exhibition, Asian American Cultural Center, Urbana, IL, US L.A. Modern Art Exhibition, J&J Art INC, GAIA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, US. Paper Trail, Consolidated Communications, Champaign, IL, US. Boneyard Art Festival, Asian American Cultural Center, Urbana, IL, US.
- 2018 Shanghai International ASIA ART Festival, Shanghai, China. Seven Artists — Seven Colors in May, The 8th Korea, Japan, China Association Exhibition, Art Avenue Gallery, Daegu, Korea.
- 2011 Solo Exhibition, Frozen Mannequins, Flour City Bread Company, Rochester, NY, US.
- 2010 Asian Students and Young Artist Art Festival, Sungshin University Gallery, Seoul, Korea.
- 2008 Collaborative Print Exhibition 2008 in Asia, Ginza Towa Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. The 20th Anniversary of Printmaking Department, Contemporary Art Museum at Hongik University, Seoul, Korea. Busan Print Art Festival, City Hall of Busan City, Busan, Korea. Yunnan 2008 International Print Art Festival, Yunnan Museum, Yunnan, China. The 42nd Korean Fine Arts Association Exhibition, Art Museum Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea.
- 2007 Loverint Edition for You, Dukwon Gallery, Seoul, Korea. The 3rd Print Exchange Exhibition, Luxun Academy Gallery, Luxun, China. 2007 Busan International Print Art Festival, City Hall of Busan City, Busan, Korea. 34th The Members Exhibition of the Hongik Printmakers Association, Gallery Kepco Plaza, Seoul, Korea. Extreme Printmaking Exhibition, Jinheung Art Hall, Seoul, Korea. Busan Printmaking Fair-Print’s Wave, City Hall of Busan City, Busan, Korea.
- 2006 GTMB Exhibition, Geumjeong Cultural Center, Busan, Korea. I DO! Exhibition of Print, Ho Gallery, Seoul, Korea.
- 2019 Prairie Center of the Arts, Peoria, IL, US.
Grants and Awards
- 2018 First Prize, The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Seoul, Korea. Special Selection Prize, The 38th Daegu Art Competition, Daegu, Korea. Critics Award, The 7th Solger Fine Arts Association Art Competition, Yeoungi Gallery, Daegu, Korea.
- 2009 Special Selection Prize, Busan Fine Arts Association Art Competition, Busan the art Institute, Busan, Korea.
- 2008, 2007 Seung-Yeon Kim Fellowship, Hongik University, Seoul, Korea.
- 2007 Special Selection Prize, The 13th Heangju Art Competition, Hosu Gallery, Seoul, Korea.
- 2006 Special Selection Prize, The 12th Heangju Art Competition, Hosu Gallery, Seoul, Korea.
- 2005 Participation Prize, The Korean Contemporary Printmakers Association Competition Convention Hall of Sejong Center, Seoul, Korea.
Items For Sale
Past Virtual Exhibits
Town & Country Amateur Art Show 2020-Juror’s Critique
Become an Art Exhibitor
The Springer Cultural Center offers local and regional artists a professional venue to display their work. Springer hosts six professional art exhibits each year. These art shows are determined by review of applications. Proposals are accepted for solo or collaborative group exhibitions on an ongoing basis.
Artists are responsible for having artwork ready to hang, and for any shipping expenses/insurance while artwork is being transported to or from the Springer Cultural Center and throughout the exhibition. Artists have the opportunity to give a brief talk about their work at a reception provided by the Park District. Please see below for the Professional Art Exhibit Application.
Springer also hosts two amateur art exhibits each year: Town & Country Amateur Art Show and State, Town, & Country Amateur Art Show. Amateur artists can submit entries for the Town & Country Amateur Art Show held in our Winter/Spring season. Winning and other high quality of work entries of the Town & Country Amateur Art Show qualify for the State, Town, & Country Amateur Art Show.
Professional Art Exhibit Application
If you are an artist that would like to be considered, watch the video for information and please fill out the form below.
Exhibitors receive marketing support from Champaign Park District in the form of:
- Exhibit poster design/print/distribution
- TV graphic promoting exhibit in all Park District facilities
- Exhibit listing on Park District website events calendar
- Social media mentions