LORAIN — Bobbi Debruler knows the dark side of life.
“You can get pretty callous,” the veteran Lorain County probation officer said as she took in the colors and themes in Steyven Curry’s “Evolution of an Artist” show Saturday night at the Lorain Arts Council space on Broadway.
Which is why she was notably impressed, but not surprised, with the poignancy of Curry’s varied work.
“I’ve known Steve for a long time,” Debruler said. “He’s a nice, kind person, and this is such a contrast to dealing with all the harshness in the world. He did a really nice job.”
The mixed-medium show featured some 35 pieces of the Lorain detective’s artistry, which includes graphite, oils, water colors and pastels, and takes in portraits as well as pop and abstract work.
“It’s a strong mix of everything,” Curry, a veteran, 53-year-old Lorain police detective said.
“It’s quite impressive,” Lorain police Sgt. Marty Carreon said as he gazed around the small gallery space inside the sponsoring Lorain Arts Council space located a few blocks from the Police Department.
Carreon said he had been aware of Curry’s artistic bent for years, but had no idea just how extensive it was until he walked in the door at Saturday’s reception.
“I knew he had done sketches, but I didn’t know he had done work to this level,” Carreon said. “This is Steve’s passion.”
Curry credits his artistic talents to his mother, a talented artist in her own right, according to her son.
One grouping of paintings that grabbed the attention of most of those attending the event began from a left-to-right sequence with a black-and-white likeness of President John F. Kennedy, behind which was a red splotch representing blood, a drawing of a brain, and a triangle.
“It’s called ‘Triangulation’ because it represents the triangulation theory that three people were responsible for shooting Kennedy from three different angles at the grassy knoll,” Curry said.
The next three paintings are set in an autopsy room, and were inspired by Curry’s own experiences many years ago with a professor at Case Western Reserve University.
One work depicts a headless corpse lying partially exposed beneath a white sheet, while another shows a pair of black hands making an incision into a corpse.
“Those were my hands,” Curry said.
These sobering images were balanced by much brighter ones in tone as well as color, including a vivid color piece Curry said symbolized the creation of the world.
This was followed by a work whose dominant yellow color included the biblical Adam and Eve, and a graphite black, white and gray piece showing a man and woman.
“It’s meant to convey the world moving from darkness into light, but the grayer light of the real world,” Curry noted.
Another work that drew most visitors was a multi-paneled portrait of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, the three Cleveland women whose 10-year imprisonment at the hands of Ariel Castro garnered worldwide headlines.
The painting is to be auctioned off by a charity raising money for the three women.
Curry is already planning his next series of artwork, which will focus on SWAT teams and first responders grappling with life-and-death situations.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.