Artist Laureate Chosen for Culver City!
On Monday, January 13, 2020, the Culver City Council voted to appoint artist Alexey Steele as Culver City’s Artist Laureate for a two-year term from January 2020 – December 2021.
Mr. Steele will serve as Culver City’s cultural ambassador, raising awareness and appreciation for the arts in the city and the artists who live and work here. As Artist Laureate, Mr. Steele will attend events, engage with the public directly, support and collaborate with community artists, and partner with the school district and the city's cultural organizations and businesses to develop new programming. The appointment includes a stipend award of $8,000 in support of Mr. Steele’s work in the community, funded in part with a grant from the Culver Arts Foundation. Alexey has already begun to outline a plan to develop artist resources and community programming for Culver City.
“We are proud to continue Culver City’s strong commitment to the arts by appointing Alexey Steele as our Artist Laureate. His strong vision and immense talent as a visual artist, along with his extensive community work, make him the ideal cultural ambassador for our city. We are confident his tenure will be both productive and inspiring!” said Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells.
About the Artist Laureate Program
The Artist Laureate Program was launched in August 2019, open to candidates who have lived or worked in Culver City for a minimum of 5 years. Applications from a variety of art disciplines (fine and visual arts, performing arts, and literary arts) were received by the October 14, 2019 deadline. An independent peer panel comprising distinguished professionals from across the art disciplines was recruited to review the applications, each panelist scoring all applications based on artistic quality, potential community impact, and professional development. The panel unanimously voted to recommend visual artist Alexey Steele as Artist Laureate. At their December meeting, the Cultural Affairs Commission voted to recommend appointment of Mr. Steele and the Culver City Council voted to appoint him at their January 13, 2020 meeting.
“With this appointment, the City Council acknowledges the important role individual artists play in Culver City, advancing the city’s creative economy and positively impacting our quality of life, enriching our community with their exhibits, performances, presentations, and service,” said Cultural Affairs Commission Chair Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin.
More information about the artist Alexey Steele and his upcoming activities in Culver City will be available shortly on the City's Artist Laureate Website.
About Artist Alexey Steele
Alexey Steele is a visual artist with a background in the Russian representational school. He is best known for his large-scale figurative works in oil and on paper, portraits, and plein-air landscapes, and he has also completed large-scale public mural and statuary commissions. Born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1967, Alexey moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and has been a resident of Culver City since 2013, where he lives with his family. Mr. Steele began art training at an early age in the studio of his father Leonid Steele, a renowned artist of the Socialist Realism School of the Soviet Union, and he later attended the prestigious Surikov Art Institute of the Soviet Academy of Arts in Moscow. Alexey is a Signature Member of the California Art Club. He has received international awards and his work is included in numerous books and publications. Mr. Steele’s artwork has been exhibited across the country and locally at the Bowers Museum, the Autry Museum of the American West, the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University, the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, and the Carnegie Art Museum. Since 2016, Alexey has been actively engaged in the Scottsdale neighborhood of Carson, California where he founded the nonprofit Artward! Gallery and developed an art program for children. Mr. Steele is also the founder of “Classical Underground,” a music and visual art project examining the experience of artistic integrity in the modern world.
Alexey says he credits his father for having a profound influence on not only his artwork but his artistic philosophy, believing in art’s purpose as an active tool of social action and community engagement, which will guide his priorities as Culver City’s new Artist Laureate.
(Painting at top of page: "Mrs. O'Neal" by Alexey Steele, 2015, sepia on paper, 29”x22” - used with permission of artist.)
(Painting above and at left: "El Rei Trabajador (The Gardener)" by Alexey Steele, 2016, oil on canvas, 72”x48" - used with permission of artist.)