John Steffl

Narrative: As a way to mediate the residue from cancer and chemotherapy, noted potter and painter, John Steffl, began photographing flowers and recomposing them in digital image-editing programs. While he connects his making to the storied history of medicinal plants and the ritual and symbolism associated with flowers, his images resonate with unabashed sensuality.

Biography: John Steffl has blended careers as a visual artist, university educator, exhibition curator and arts administrator. His effort to revitalize regionalism and promote indigenous art has been recognized with awards and distinctions including the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council’s Maddie Simons Arts Advocacy Award and the Depot Foundation’s Arts and Culture Award.


A voice for disenfranchised artists, he has represented Greater Minnesota at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and the McKnight Foundation, among others.  In August of 2002, the Duluth Art Institute dedicated the John Steffl Gallery in honor of his vision, service and achievement. He helped establish the Artist Relief Fund during 2005, and serves on its board of directors.