STERANKO with his works of art.

STERANKO AND THE AMERICAN HERO at The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH

This spring, visit Youngstown and be in the company of modern-day heroes!

The Butler Institute of American Art, located in the heart of Youngstown, OH, is excited to present STERANKO AND THE AMERICAN HERO, an exhibition of over 60 paintings by STERANKO, one of the legendary creators at Marvel Comics. The paintings will be on display March 13 – May 29.

STERANKO is also the co-creator of Nick Fury, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, and the artist-writer of Captain America, The Hulk, and The X-Men (for which he designed the classic title logo). His work in comic book art also extends to DC Comics, where he illustrated and wrote Superman in DC Comics’ special #400, as well as illustrating the cover art for Action Comics #1000. He is widely recognized for incorporating elements of surrealism and pop art, and he pioneered the use of graphic design in comics. As a filmmaker, he collaborated with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola on some of their blockbuster films.

This premiere exhibition of literary and cinematic paintings helps to visualize the world’s most popular and prominent heroes energizing the current international entertainment scene. In fact, across all mediums, from the cinema to comics, STERANKO was cited by Stan Lee as one of the prime architects of the Marvel Universe.

STERANKO Exhibition Details

See the work of STERANKO that you never knew existed!

STERANKO AND THE AMERICAN HERO will run from March 13 – May 29, 2022 at The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown. Admission is free and the works will be located in the MacIntosh and Finnegan-Hynes galleries, on the second floor of the museum.

Museum hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11a-4p; Sunday from 12p-4p; closed Mondays and all major holidays.

* This is the worldwide premiere exhibition of STERANKO AND THE AMERICAN HERO, with over 60 literary and cinematic paintings on display – for the first time ever – right here in Youngstown!

Plan Your STERANKO Adventure in Youngstown

When planning your visit to see these unique literary and cinematic STERANKO works, options abound for lodging, including The DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown, which is within walking distance to The Butler Institute of American Art. Enjoy the hotel’s many amenities while taking in the fully restored, century-old location’s neoclassic architecture.

Need to make dinner plans after visiting the exhibit? The DoubleTree’s restaurant, Bistro 1907, offers upscale dining, and several other great downtown restaurants a block or two away: V2 Wine Bar and Trattoria, Prima Cucina Italiana, West 34, and the Avalon Downtown (just to name a few).

Plus, Boardman is a short drive down the road, where you can find plenty of shopping opportunities at the Southern Park Mall. The Mall includes the newly developed DeBartolo Commons area, which features new dining and entertainment options: Steel Valley Brew Works, The Bunker and Double Bogey’s.

STERANKO and the Early Years

Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, STERANKO showed an early talent for art. As a musician, he gigged with Bill Haley in the early years of rock n’ roll, and as a pop-culture icon, he appeared at more than 400 events and exhibited his work worldwide (including at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and the Louvre in Paris). STERANKO also performed as an escape artist and illusionist in New York City where his antics are said to have inspired the comic character Mister Miracle.

It was also at this time that STERANKO entered the comics industry, first at DC Comics and then at Harvey Comics under Joe Simon. In 1966, he met with Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee, and once hired, started inking the work of fellow comic legend Jack Kirby during the height of the “Silver Age” period of comic books. STERANKO soon became the illustrator for Strange Tales, one of Marvel’s “split books” that would feature two stories in a single issue.

Becoming a Literary and Cinematic Powerhouse

In the 1970s, STERANKO began to branch out from comics and illustrated paperback book covers for reissues of the 1930s pulp novels featuring The Shadow. STERANKO also formed his own publishing company in 1969, called Supergraphics, and released two volumes titled The STERANKO History of Comics. These volumes contained reprints of comic covers, as well as interviews with comic creators from the 1930s and 1940s, a time known as the “Golden Age” of comics. The volumes sold more than 100,000 copies each.

Supergraphics also published a magazine focused on the comics industry titled Comixscene, which evolved into a more general-interest periodical known as Prevue, which ran through 1994.

STERANKO delivered monumental contributions to modern media, including the concept of the graphic novel, with the release of Chandler: Red Tide in 1976.

In 1979 STERANKO was tapped to design the “look” of the character of Indiana Jones for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Similar conceptual work was done for Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 1992. In 2006, STERANKO was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame for his contributions to the field of comics.

An Enduring Legacy

A WIZARD magazine poll cited STERANKO as the 5th Most Influential Creator in the history of the narrative art form. He set what might be a world record for visualizing classic fictional heroic characters—including Sherlock Holmes, the Fantastic Four, Luke Skywalker, The Spider, Mike Hammer, the Green Hornet, James Bond, Batman, Han Solo, the Phantom, Sam Spade, Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Conan, Doc Savage, Buck Rogers, and The Shadow (for which he painted 30 book covers).

All that, and more, will be represented in the artist’s 2022 Spring Exhibit: STERANKO AND THE AMERICAN HERO!

See All That Youngstown Has To Offer!

To stay up-to-date on all the happenings throughout Mahoning County, explore the comprehensive calendar of events at Youngstown Live. Whether you come from Cleveland, Pittsburgh, the Akron-Canton area, or beyond, you’ll find plenty to do right here in the Valley!