“STERANKO AND THE AMERICAN HERO”

The mastery behind many of our beloved comic book and film heroes came to life through the imagination and the talent of one: Jim Steranko.

Steranko and the American Hero 2022 Exhibit
Steranko and the American Hero 2022 Exhibit | Photo courtesy of The Butler Institute of American Art

This artist’s name may or may not ring a bell, but his famous imagery both in comic books and in cinema will.

Pop-culture icon, Jim Steranko, a descendant of Ukrainian immigrant grandparents, grew-up in Reading Pennsylvania, and was the son of a coal miner. From those very humble beginnings, Jim went on to become a talented magician, side-show fire-eater, male model, musician, filmmaker, and finally taking center-stage as one of the most influential fictional literary writers and cinematic artists of our time. Steranko has “generated over 150 original storytelling devices and techniques that has changed the direction of the comics’ medium”, giving him the nickname “The Innovator”. His work as been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. and at the Louvre in Paris.

Steranko Exhibit - Butler Art Museum
Pictured: Raiders of the Lost Ark Acrylic on illustration board; One of Four production illustrations Indiana Jones (Image courtesy of The Butler Institute of American Art.)

Over his career, Steranko collaborated with greats like Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas to help create the look of Indiana Jones. American comic book writer, Stan Lee, cited Steranko as one of the “prime architects of the Marvel Universe”. Co-creating Nick Fury and Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Steranko was also known for being the artist-writer for Marvel favorites like The Hulk, Superman, The X-Men and Captain America. “A recent WIZARD magazine poll cited Steranko as the 5th Most Influential Creator in the history of narrative art form.”

This spring The Butler Art Museum invites you to get up-close and personal to 65 of the artists most celebrated painted images. “Never has a collection of this size been exhibited in one place, all together.”  That’s what makes this exhibit so special.

Steranko, recently posted on his Twitter feed, “These images were selected for their raw passion, attitude, color, action, intrigue, sensuality, and sense of wonder! And let’s not forget sensitivity!!!”. 

 

Steranko Exhibit - The Butler Museum of American Art
(Images courtesy of The Butler Institute of American Art.)

During my visit I was amazed at the detail in each of the paintings.  The complexity of the faces and how he used color to create action and depth.  All 65 paintings in the collection offered a true glimpse into Steranko’s extreme talent as an artist.

For those who grew-up alongside these superheroes, the exhibit offers you a moment to remember.  And for those who follow the comic book and superhero world, this is an exhibit you should not miss.  Even the young ones would “Marvel” at the paintings and their superheroes.

 

AN INTIMATE EVENING WITH STERANKO
Jim Steranko
Jim Steranko (Photo courtesy of The Butler Institute of American Art.)

 

An exclusive meet-the-artist reception An Intimate Evening with STERANKO – will be held April 9th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at The Butler. A limited number of tickets for this event are on sale at ButlerArt.com for $50 per ticket. Autographs will not be signed at the museum. Attendees to the meet-the-artist reception should not bring memorabilia into the museum to be signed by the artist. STERANKO is holding a first-come-first-served autograph session April 9th after the meet-the-artist reception at DoubleTree by Hilton Youngstown Downtown on the second floor.

 

 

“The 65-piece “Steranko and the American Hero” exhibit is expected to be one of the most high-profile shows ever presented by the Butler, and fans of the innovative artist, film consultant and author are expected to descend upon the museum from across the globe.”


FUN FACTS ABOUT THE BUTLER INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN ART:
  • The museum opened in 1919.
  • The museum was established to house artworks solely by American Artist
  • The current museum collection encompasses over 22,000 pieces of art. All media types.
  • The oldest piece in the collection dates back to 1719.

"Snap the Whip" - The Butler Institute of American Art

  • Snap the Whip”, an 1872 oil painting by Winslow Homer, is considered to be the “heart and soul” of the Butler collection.

The Butler Institute of American Art

  • The original museum structure is constructed of Georgian Marble in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. The Butler Museum is considered architects McKim, Mead and White architectural masterpiece. (Make sure you take a minute and enjoy the beautiful blue tiled portico before entering the museum).
  • “Art” is always watching.
"Art" The Butler Institute of American Art
Security Guard “Art” | Photo credit: Diane Rock – MyOhioFun.com

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
  1. The exhibit runs through May 29, 2022.
  2. Admission is FREE.
  3. Parking lot parking is FREE.
  4. Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm | Sunday Noon – 4pm | Closed Mondays and major holidays.
  5. Photography is not permitted in the Steranko and The American Hero Exhibition area.
  6. Allow at least 2-3 hours to view the exhibit and to enjoy the other works of art on display in the museum.
  7. There is a museum store on the premises.
  8. An exhibition catalogue and poster will be available for purchase through The Butler Museum Store, ButlerArt.com, and through STERANKO.
  9. As of 3/21/22, masks are optional. Please check protocols before going.
MUSEUM LOCATION:

The Butler Institute of American Art
524 Wick Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44502
330.743.1107 | ButlerArt.com


SEIZE THE DAY!
Fellows Riverside Gardens
Fellows Riverside Gardens | Photo: Diane Rock – MyOhioFun.com

Touring the exhibit and museum may only take you 2-3 hours, which allows plenty of time to explore other area museums or take in the beauty of the Fellows Riverside Gardens, which is also FREE. Below you will find just a few of Youngstown’s more notable area attractions.

Arms Family Museum
“Tour the preserved 1905 residence of Olive and Wilford Arms.” 
648 Wick Ave., Youngstown
mahoninghistory.org
Tuesday – Sunday Noon – 4pm
Adults – $7.00 | Seniors (60+) and college student (with ID) – $6.00 | Children (3-18) – $5.00
Toddlers (under 3) – FREE

Fellows Riverside Gardens
During spring over 40,000 bulbs bloom in this 12-acre public display garden.
123 McKinley Ave, Youngstown, OH 44509
millcreekmetroparks.org
Open daily, year-round Sunrise to Sunset. | Davis Center Hours Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm, Closed Monday

Lanterman’s Mill and Covered Bridge
“One of Mahoning County’s most historic and most photographed landmarks. The 1846 gristmill still operates today.”
980 Canfield Rd., Youngstown
millcreekmetroparks.org
May-Oct: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm | April & Nov: Sat-Sun Noon – 4pm

OH WOW! Children’s Center for Science & Technology
“A world-class science center that offers colorful, hands-on environment that encourages independent thinking through interactive STEM-based exhibits.”
15 Central Square First Floor, Youngstown, OH 44503
ohwowkids.org
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 am & 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
General Admission (Children & Adults): $8
Infants & Toddlers Under 2 (23 Months and Under): Free
Seniors (65+), Educators, & Veterans: $7

Tyler History Center
“A community history and learning facility. Permanent exhibit. The People of Mahoning County”.
325 West Federal St., Youngstown
mahoninghistory.org
Tuesday – Sunday Noon – 4pm
Adults – $7.00 | Seniors (60+) and college student (with ID) – $6.00 | Children (3-18) – $5.00
Toddlers (under 3) – Free

Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor (The Steel Museum)
“Exhibits combine artifacts, video interviews and full-scale recreations of the places where steelworkers lived and worked.”
151 W. Wood St., Youngstown
youngstownohiosteelmuseum.org
W-F 10am-4pm |  Sat Noon – 4pm
Adults – $7.00 | Seniors/AAA members -$6.00 | Students/college students (with ID) – $3.50
Military – $3.00 | Children (5 & under) – Free


PLACES TO EAT NEARBY
W34th St., Youngstown
Pictured: Turkey Sandwich & Fries – West 34th  (The fries were addicting!)

Whether you prefer lunch or dinner, the Downtown Youngstown area offers a nice selection of places to eat.  Please check their website to confirm open times before heading out. Metered on-street and parking lot parking is available around the city.

Avalon Downtown Pizzeria – 17 W. Federal St., Youngstown
avalondowntown.com 
M-Th 11a-9p| F-Sat 11a-2p | Sun: Closed

Cassese’s MVR – 410 N Walnut St., Youngstown
youngstownmvr.com
M-F 4p-9p | Sat 11a-9p | Sun: Closed

Gringo’s Tacos – 24 N Phelps St., Youngstown
gringosytown.com
T-W 11a-10p | Th 11a – 11p || Fri 11a-1a | Sat Noon – 2a | Sun-Mon: Closed

Prima Cucina Italiana – 103 W. Federal St., Youngstown
primayoungstown.com
W-Sat 5p-11p

The Mocha House – 120 E. Boardman St., Youngstown
mochahouse.com/youngstown
M-F 7:30a – 5p | ​Sat 8a-3p | ​Sun: Closed

V2 Wine Bar and Trattoria by Vernon – 100 W. Federal St., Youngstown
v2byvernon.com
M-T: Closed | W-Th 11am-10pm | Sun 11am – 10pm

West 34th – 34 W. Federal St., Youngstown
westthirtyfour.com
M-W 11a-9p | Th-F 11a-10p || Sat Noon -11p | Sun Noon – 8p

LODGING

DoubleTree by Hilton Youngstown – 44 East Federal Plaza, Youngstown

Additional accommodations can be found here.


ENJOY SPECIAL AREA EVENTS –

Throughout the opening of the exhibit, the Youngstown area will be holding the following special events:

Youngstown Flea – Saturdays, April 9th and May 7th | 9am -3pm
365 E Boardman Street, Youngstown | youngstownflea.com/

Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater – May 27th | 7pm
Performance by: Brothers Osborne – To purchase tickets click here.
201 S. Phelps St., Youngstown

 


NEED TO GROW YOUR COMIC COLLECTION? 

All American Cards & Comics
52 Boardman-Canfield Rd, Boardman
330.629.8754 | allamericancardscomics.com
M-F Noon – 7p || Sat Noon – 5p | Sun Noon – 3p

 

 

Experience all the Valley has to offer, from the revitalization of downtown Youngstown to Mahoning County’s endless opportunities for recreation and leisure. Explore Youngstown’s events, restaurants and entertainment today!

To download or order your FREE Mahoning County Visitor Guide visit
youngstownlive.com

There are so many places to visit and enjoy around Mahoning County, you may just want to plan a getaway.

 

 

 


Article and photos: Diane Rock
Rocky Hill | MyOhioFun.com

Diane Rock is the owner and editor of MyOhioFun.com, NorthernOhioTourism.com and the Tea Cup Rescue Society. She is an avid baker, gardener, Little Free Library owner, who loves to read and travel.  She spends most of her days sharing her love of things to do in Ohio, as well as creating destinations and itineraries for group tours and individual travelers.

Editor’s note:  Any use of the above article or images without prior permission, will be in violation of copyright laws. 

Disclosure: I was given advertising compensation from the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau. All opinions are my own.

Artwork images included in this article are courtesy of The Butler Institute of American Art.

Spirit of America – Acrylic on 22×35” illustration board; horizontal image 19×24’ -Captain America

Raiders of the Lost Ark – Acrylic on illustration board; One of Four production illustrations – Indiana Jones

Fury of Shield – Acrylic on 18×27” Masonite – Nick Fury

Mahoning County Ohio Wineries
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