Steven is a Professor of Art with Southern Arkansas University-Magnolia. With more than 30 years experience in art education and plying his craft, Steven Ochs has learned something about the creative process. One of the things he’s learned is that concrete has become an important part of his creative expression.
In his own words, Steven seeks “integration between site-specific design, architecture and community.” As one of the country’s leading purveyors of concrete art, he develops walking murals in concrete that consist of hand-engraved lines and rich penetrating colors that offer an alternative to traditional public art. His clients serve as active members of the project design team and artists on a project are selected from the community. His goal is to create designs that express the interests and values of the communities these art pieces represent.
Steven’s art education includes a bachelor’s from Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Ill., and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign, Ill., respectively. He also earned a master of fine arts degree from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
Steven’s list of awards includes inclusion in three juried international art exhibitions, 22 juried national art exhibitions and eight solo gallery exhibitions. In addition: Decorative Concrete Project of the Year honoree, Concrete Construction Magazine, Nov. 2009; the Calvin Wetzig Faculty Excellence Award for Research, Southern Arkansas University, 2006 and the Faculty excellence Award for teaching in 2003 and 1998; Best of show, 7th Annual Cross Timbers Small Works National Juried Exhibit, 2003; and Arkansas Higher Education Art Educator of the Year, Arkansas Art Educators, 2000.
Art installations where Steven has played a lead role include: The Arkansas River Mural, Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, Ark., a 200-foot sidewalk that replicates the Arkansas River; The World Map, Heifer International World Headquarters, Little Rock, Ark., a 26’x15′ world map used to show wealth distribution; Freeman Justice Center, Key West, Fla., 100 years of public service by the Freeman family, sponsored by the Florida Keys Council for the Arts and Arts in Public Places; concrete murals at Fouke public schools, Fouke, Ark., Beryl Henry schools, Hope, Ark., and Magnolia high school, Magnolia, Ark.; Military Memorial, Smackover, Ark., SAU students worked with the company Imagines in Concrete to complete project in 2008; track optical illusion, El Dorado-Wesson Railway, El Dorado, Ark.; and “Backwoods: Art Nouveau Trees” for Backwoods Art Gallery, El Dorado; “The Nature of Things” pet store entryway, El Dorado; Textbook Sidewalk highlighting the lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly, Emerson, Ark.; the Texarkana Project, visual history on a 75-foot undulating wall.
Steven has served as a presenter and guest artist at a variety of events, including: speaker and chief photographer, 2011 Concrete Décor Show, Nashville, Tenn., and 2010 show, Phoenix, Ariz.; performance artist, Robert Bosch Tool Corp., 2011 World of Concrete, Las Vegas; guest speaker, 2010 Arkansas Art Educators State Conf., North Little Rock, Ark.; keynote speaker, 2010 Rocketown, Nashville, Tenn.; and speaker for 2009 Foundations in Art Theory and Education National Conf., Portland, Ore; Artistry in Concrete 2005, World of Concrete, Las Vegas