About the Artist

Steven Kean  Surf Artist / Printmaker | North Shore of Oahu, HI


A Pennsylvania native residing on the North Shore of Oahu since 2008, STEVEN KEAN is an artist working primarily in the woodcut method of relief printmaking. Woodcut is a technique where the artist carves into a block of wood, leaving raised areas to receive ink. The inked block is then printed on paper. Kean’s recent work is a collection of wave studies utilizing this technique. It is driven by a passion for the process and a love affair with the ocean. The woodcut prints render what may have only previously been an abstract feeling for an ocean-minded person. ‘I hope to elicit a reaction in those who have felt that symbiotic connection with the ocean, and at the same time provide access to those who maybe have not had that experience.’ 

‘The process of carving wood evokes emotions that are similar to those experienced when riding a wave. I enter a soothing, therapeutic, almost meditative state when driving a gouge through the block. The sensation of carving a smooth line is similar to the feeling of sliding on the surface of a wave. In each activity, I’m harnessing a certain energy. I seek to challenge myself in conveying this parallel to the viewer through the repetition of crisp line work and elegant mark making. It is an exploration into the dichotomy of stillness versus movement.’

 Kean holds a B.S. in Art Education from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA and is a current member of the Honolulu Printmakers. He is an art instructor and an 'Artist in the Schools' for the Hawaii State Art Museum and has been teaching art at the 4th-6th levels at Mililani Mauka and Sunset Beach Elementary Schools for the past four years. Steven is a select artist at the Polu Gallery in Haleiwa and has a large body of work on view at the Beet Box Café - Kailua and Haleiwa locations. His original woodcut prints are also installed in the Hokulea Lounge and Noe Restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort on Oahu. Kean was the recipient of the Tori Richard Purchase Award at the 89th Annual Honolulu Printmakers Exhibition and was also selected as the featured artist at the 2016 Haleiwa Arts Festival. His work has been showcased internationally, throughout Hawaii and various locations on the mainland of the United States. In 2017, he was invited by FLUX Hawaii Magazine to exhibit work in Sydney, Australia and followed it up with two Hawaii-themed art shows in Japan.The highlight of Kean’s career took place on the North Shore of Oahu. He was commisioned to create the artwork for the presitgious 2017 Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach. Steven then traveled to Japan in the Summer of 2018 for a three-city art tour with Polu Gallery. He showcased a new body of work at the Hawaii State Art Museum Gallery Shop ‘Winter Swell’ Art Show in Janaury 2019 and followed it up with a solo show, ‘Frame Lines’ at the Polu Gallery. He returned to Japan in the summer of 2019 to participate in several events and shortly after, his work was noted as one of the ‘Wests Most Collectable Crafts’ in the Sept/Oct issue of Sunset Magazine. In January 2020 he was commissioned by Kronos Inc to create a limited edition of woodcut prints for the company's exclusive 'Diamond Club.' In the edition he depicted the view of Diamond Head from the infamous Liljestrand House on Oahu.  Shortly after his work was accepted into the 92nd Annual Honolulu Printmakers Exhibition.  Kean is continually seeking creative growth as a working professional artist in Hawaii and is always on the lookout for new sources of inspiration in the islands.