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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. He was recently given the honor of installing his original woodcut prints 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. One of the highlights of Kean’s career just recently unfolded. He was given the honor of creating the artwork for the 2017 Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach. In the summer of 2018, Steven was invited to exhibit his work on a three-city art tour in Japan with the Polu Gallery. He is currently working on a new body of work to be showcased in December 2018 at the Hawaii State Art Museum Gallery Shop and plans to continue developing his style and knowledge of relief printmaking.