My Parent & Art: Harper

I’ve been told that if I am not careful then my children are going to grow up to be artists. This is just the case for this college student that was raised in a family that loves all forms of art.


  1. What’s your name?

Harper Leigh Steinbach

2. What’s your current occupation?

University Student, Arts school Administrative Assistant, and artist

3. Where did you grow up?

St. Paul, Minnesota 

4. Which significant caregivers were involved professionally in the arts?

Both my mom and dad were involved in the arts heavily as I was growing up. My dad, Ken Steinbach, is a visual artist, mostly sculpture.  My mom was involved in theater as an director and an actor. My mom works mostly freelance stuff in the TC. My dad teaches at Bethel and is a freelance artist. It seems like if there were a theater or a gallery in MN my parents had shown at it growing up.

My dad is an inspiration because anything that he is thinking about doing he will just teach himself how to do and do it. I would like to think that I do the same. My mom is also a large inspiration because of her extreme focus and talent and being able to handle large amounts of stress at a time. While my dad helped me learn how to build things and draw my mom taught me how to write and refine my writing. They were always very supportive. 

5. What artist or artwork do you remember first being special to you?

My parents had an artwork in their bedroom of a specific saint carrying his head through a crowd of mourners to into a dark room. It was a very somber and intense piece. I remember being terrified of it at the time but grew to love it. I would spend a lot of time looking at it as a child. I think that is the only one that pops out to me. Thats a hard question to ask children of artists. When you’re young you are so exposed to the arts that every piece sort of becomes background unless its in your house. Looking at art is second nature because your world is so over saturated by amazing images. I remember being really excited and happy to go to my parents shows. I guess another piece that freaked me out as a child is my dad had a giant life sized sculpture of a man in our crawl space. I was scared it would come alive so I avoided it always. 

6. What artist or artwork is important to you right now?

I think that a teacher, Scott Kolbo, that I am working under right now has been influencing a lot of my work.  His style speaks to me because it is loose and sketchy in a way. That is a criticism I always get with my work but he just sort of runs with it. And I’m always going to love Kara Walker.

Naaman by Scott Kolbo, 1999

7. Any thoughts on the value or impact of art to you as a child or to you in your family?

My parents made sure my sister and I grew up in an awesome environment. We were taught that sometimes you are rejected from things and that is OK as well as about supporting your friends (fellow artists). They also pushed me to spend time on something that made me happy. I think growing up with them and the environment I did has taught that an artist does not need to be a cliche, anyone can be an artist. I am still learning stuff from them. Also, they taught me to draw larger because proportions are easier to measure, and to always proof read your papers. 



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