Gregory Steel, MFA
Humanities and Social Sciences
Most recent show of work:
New York Now May 9th to the 21st 2014
Gregory Steel is currently working on his PhD in philosohpy, his dissertation is "The Sublime as Nexus of Faith and Reason"
Courses taught by Gregory Steel;
Philosophy of Art, Concepts and Images, Digital Media Studio I & II, Video & Video Art, Sculpture, Photography & Videography
Gregory Steel, MFA
Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and New Media Communications
PhD Candidate, Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts
Office: KO 227
Biography Of Gregory Steel
Gregory Steel was born in Detroit and raised by his maternal grandparents in the richly
diverse neighborhoods of the Motor City’s East Side. From an early age, Steel was encouraged
by his grandmother’s innovative use of ordinary materials in constructing unique objects and
arrangements. Her novel approaches to environmental resources combined with her support
were a positive influence in Steel’s artistic development. As a self-taught artist, Steel held jobs
in various disciplines in order to support his work, but after many years of making art on his
own he realized he needed a serious arts education.
Attending school part-time and working full-time, Steel received a BFA from The College
for Creative Studies in Detroit, and an MFA in New Genres from the University of Michigan.
After his studies were completed he took a position at The College for Creative Studies teaching
sculpture and experimental media. Steel is currently and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts & New
Media at Indiana University Kokomo.
The art of ideas is fundamental to Steel’s working process and is at the heart of his work
to date. For Steel, art and life are not separate spheres. Instead, his art is only of extension of
whom he is, and thus is fully integrated into his life. Navigating academic discourse and the
Modernist dilemma, Steel soon came to depend on his instinct that art is an internal process. His
influences include Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Lawrence Weiner and Allan Kaprow.
Experience, rather than individual created objects, is foremost in Steel’s work. To this end, Steel
employs a variety of materials and techniques in his art, including video, object making, digital
imaging, book publishing, installation, performance and new technology.
A brush with cancer in 1998 affected his work in many ways that give him a greater focus
and sense of urgency to complete his life’s work. As an idea artist, he views the various
materials he uses as simply a way to fulfill the function of the art. Through this diversity, he
resists easy categorization. Steel’s work cannot be pigeonholed because it is integrated with his
life, and as such, it is a richly layered and evolving experience. His concerns about issues of the
human condition and social change, and his hope for humankind are evident regardless of his
final product. Whether Steel is collaborating in a groundbreaking physiological monitoring
system with Cybernet Systems of Ann Arbor, or creating intimate and humorous tableaus replete
with miniature figures in outlandish settings, his art emerges as thoughtful and timely. Steel’s
work has been exhibited across the United States and Europe, most recently in China, Russia,
London, and in Barcelona, Spain.