Steve Hurley (Artist-in-Residence, 2010)

Artwork shows a colorful lakeshore view from a high overlook
"Dream of Isle Royale", 3' x 2' acrylic on canvas, 2010

NPS/Steve Hurley

Isle Royale Reflection

"“Up north” has a special feel to it, especially when you've lived most of your life there and know how special the water and trees, wildlife and weather give to that feeling. My grandfather had a huge library that my brother and I loved to look through while growing up. He had a small red book of poems by Robert Service titled “Ballads of a Cheechako”. Below are portions of two poems that hint at the feeling of being “Up north”."

"The Spell of the Yukon" by Robert W. Service
There’s gold, and it’s haunting and haunting;
It’s luring me on as of old;
Yet it isn’t the gold that I’m wanting
So much as just finding the gold.
It’s the great, big, broad land ‘way up yonder,
It’s the forests where silence has lease;
It’s the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It’s the stillness that fills me with peace.

"The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert W. Service
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

- Steve Hurley, February 2019

Steve Hurley portrait

About the Artist

Steve was an Isle Royale Artist-in-Residence from August 10th to August 25th, 2010. He was lucky enough to also be selected at Petrified Forest in Arizona (2009) and Catoctin in Maryland (2012). The time spent on those trips was some of the most rewarding time he's ever had. He retired in 2006 from a career in IT with municipal governments of the suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area. He and his wife moved to south central Missouri to be near a daughter and her family while locating closer to other kids on both coasts.

Even though he is mostly a self taught artist, he has taken art classes at the University of Minnesota and several other venues. He also attends workshops and enters competitions that intrigue him. Painting acrylic landscapes seems to be his preferred artistic outlet, but recently he has been experimenting with printmaking and sculpting. He also spends time drawing with ink, colored pencil and watercolor. Part of the fun of making art is the problem solving it presents and since retiring he has time to do much more artwork and problem solving.

Promoting his art for sale is a big job and although he's sold some art, he prefers creating it just for the enjoyment. Consequently, he's running out of wall space at home and his wife doesn't want to sell any of it! You can see more of this art on Steve's personal webpage.


Last updated: January 5, 2020

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


906 482-0984

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