You Are My Sunshine, sing-a-long,
Starkweather Summer Solstice

John Steines works in a variety of art forms, primarily oil on canvas or board.  His first successfully unique expressionist work, Edge Runner, Run For Your Life, 1982, established a voice that he wanted to pursue.  Other media are pastel on paper for plein air landscape sketches, charcoal and pastel on Rives paper for figurative studies, ceramic for both functional and expressionistic work, and willow peeled pole and woven bark expressionist sculptural figures.

His approach to canvas and board is a very aggressive use of palette knife, scraping and rubbing techniques, oil wash, textural layers with polymer, and collage of drawn and found objects.  This aggressive approach and my discussion of it incorporate a degree of performance art.  Many of his works develop over years of application, observation and layering.  John's first marks are gestural and often include a repeated script in a variety of sizes to create spatial geometry.  He chooses three secondary hues to color compose directly on canvas or board and gradate toward primary spectrum.  He works in series.   John's work addresses environmental and wellness issues, and has a message.  This is what makes his work art and not decoration.

John Steines grew up on a small farm in a central Wisconsin German community and  graduated with a BSN in Nursing from the UW Madison in 1976.  His interest in medicine continues as each semester he speaks to the Edgewood College advanced nursing class and UW genetics classes on wellness issues.

John's work is included in collections throughout the Midwest and Canada.  Much of his sculptural work is created for specific events, then relocated following the event to take on a new life.  John has done program cover, advertising and publicity design for Perfect Harmony Men's Chorus, Friends of Starkweather Creek, and Starkweather Solstice Festival.

John Steines is co-founder of Friends of Starkweather Creek and Starkweather Solstice Festival in 2002, past President of Perfect Harmony Men's Chorus 2008-2011,  and co-writer and producer for RIOT ACTS, a Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall, 2009.  SOLSTICE, the Film premiers May 11, 2012 at the Orpheum Theater.  RIOT ACTS is in rewrite for future development. 


1.  Aldo Leopold Summer Conference, Building a Land Ethic, Teaching and Learning Across Boundaries, Aug 12-15, 2015 @ UW-Baraboo, Sauk County11 WI

The Witness Tree Project and the Art of Engagement, August 15, 2015

Rebecca Power, Rebecca Power Images
John Steines, Expressionist Artist and Registered Nurse
Witness Tree is an ongoing community conversation that hosts events that integrate the languages of art, science, public policy, and personal decision-making as part of a more holistic dialog that is necessary for a sustainable future. This presentation will share some of the foundational principles of Witness Tree and how they relate to Leopold’s “Land Ethic”, illustrate how we have brought those concepts to life in art and conversation, and engage participants in a creative discussion about what “thinking communities” look like. Attendees will produce a collaborative work representing the group’s discussion. Participants are encouraged to bring their own small natural objects to add to the collaborative work. A selection

2. Opening August 12 through Oct 17, 2015:  Earth Sculpture 2015, A Creative Collaboration with Nature, Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability. Artist reception Sept 12, 3-5 pm.

3.  Lead Artist for Intentionally Welcoming Exhibitions, Union Corners, Hops Museum and Children's Museum, Madison WI.  Opening October 2 & 3, 20153

JSteines Exhibition record

Studied under Sue Messer, figure study, UW Whitewater, Thom Sobota, painter, Fort Atkinson, Carol Pylant, painting, UW Madison, Richard Long, critique, UW Madison, John Fitzpatrick, exhibition practice, Iowa City, Iowa (Grant Wood curator).

Steines published Languages: Acquired and Intuitive, A Retrospective, in 2012 (catalogue).

Art Weather Studio/Balcony Gallery 2, 3327 Chicago Ave, Madison, WI. -2000–present

Steines is lead artist for Witness Tree Projects

Tree Of Life/Witness Tree Projects engage a series of community conversations in conjunction with art projects. Witness Tree Projects embrace wellness and healthy communities in environment, through art and conversation using trees as real and metaphoric teachers. 

March & April, 2015 A Fable For Tomorrow - Arboretum Steinhauser Trust Gallery, Madison, WI.

January 2015 Envisioning the Future-Yahara 2070 with UW Extension @ Center For Resilient Cities, Madison, WI.

Oct/Nov, 2014 Earth Songs, Sun Prairie Public Library, Sun Prairie, WI.

Aug 23, 2014 - ongoing Ten Variations On a Theme, Ten art installations in ten corn cribs, Producer & lead artist, Silverwood County Park

July 19, 2014 Tending the Nest, lead artist-installation, workshop, conversation. Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability

Tree Of Life January-March 2014, Juried, Overture Galleries, Madison WI. https://www.facebook.com/WitnessTreeCommunity /

March 2013. Witness Tree, Group Exhibition and Community Conversations and week long symposium, Common Wealth Gallery, Madison, WI. Published catalogue available.which include:             

July-September, 2013 Witness Tree Iowa County, Dodgeville,WI. / March 2013 Witness Tree, Common Wealth Gallery, Madison, WI. Published group catalogue. 

August, 2013:  Half Way There, Half Way Gone, Collaboration with Jesse Heideman - ephemeral sculpture installation, Farley Center for Peace,2 Justice and Sustainability

Jesse Heideman  is an emerging artist with an interest in installation work.  Jesse is currently pursuing a degree in Community and Environmental Sociology and is a frequent volunteer at the Farley Center.  Jesse has actively studied art his entire life.  He finds the experience of being within a work of art thought provoking, especially when a work can transport him into a different place.  This is his first exhibition work.

January–March, 2012 Languages, Acquired and Intuitive, Major solo retrospective exhibition, Commonwealth Gallery, Madison, WI. Published catalogue available.

April-July 2012. One for the Other, Redamte Coffee Shop, peeled willow sculpture installation.

2008. History of Civil Rights mural & Aurora giant puppet, MadTown Players Theater, Madison, WI.

2007-2009. Puppet construction and detail painting for May Day Festival, Minneapolis, MN.

2008, Puttin’ On The Ritz cabaret - Set design, creation, and installation of paintings, script cowriter.

2007, Country Cabaret - Set design and co-wrote script, creation and installation, script cowriter.

November 2006. Landscapes, duo-exhibition w/ Tom Sobota, Fort Atkinson, WI. Curated.

2004. The Nude, group exhibition at Gallery On The Main, Fort Atkinson, WI. Curated.

July 2003. Wisconsin Landscapes, Juried exhibition, Landscapes, Paine Art Center, Appleton, WI, Curated.

June 2002–2012. Starkweather Solstice Festival Sculptural displays of peeled willow and woven bark, Madison,WI.

May 1998, UW Whitewater Student Exhibition. Juried / June, 1995.

Landscapes, Solo landscape exhibit, City of Whitewater Public Library, Whitewater, WI.

November 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997. Hoard Dairy Museum Annual Art Exhibition, Fort Atkinson 

Health Care Resume



John Steines, BSN, RN


Contact Information                  3327 Chicago Avenue

                                                Madison WI 53715




Birth Date                                 29 August 1953


Birth Place                                Marshfield, Wisconsin



            University                     School of Nursing

                                                University of Wisconsin – Madison         1971-1976

                                                Bachelor of Science in Nursing              1976


            Continuing                   The New Science of Resiliency and Its

                                                Clinical Applications

                                                Harvard Medical School                                    2013

                                                Attendance funded by a grant from

                                                Wisconsin Statewide Action Planning



                                                Registered Nurse Refresher Course

                                                Madison Area Technical College             2014-2015

                                                Clinical Practicum at UW D6/4

Neurosurgical Unit                                2015


Licensure                                  State of Wisconsin RN 67302-30             1977 to present


Certification                              Basic Life Support                                 Expires 31 March 2017

                                                    Advanced Cardiac Life Support        Expires, January, 2018

Work History                     

    Current:                            Long Term Acute Care (LTAC) Specialty

                                               Staff Nurse                                                                                                                                    2015-ongoing

     Past                                  Methodist Hospital, Madison WI

                                               Staff Nurse

                                                   General Medicine and Telemetry/Step Down Care                                                          1977-1979

                                               UW Health

                                               Staff Nurse

                                                    Pediatric Unit Ages 5-21                                                                                                         1979-1985

                                                UW Health

                                                Float Pool Staff Nurse

                                                    TLC, Burn Unit, ER, Medical & Surgical ICU, Transplant, General Medicine             1985-1991

                                                UW Health

                                                Staff Nurse

                                                    Pediatric Intensive Care Unit                                                                                                  1991-1993


Academic Affiliations

                                                Edgewood College

                                                Guest Lecturer in Nursing                      2002 to present


                                                University of Wisconsin Madison

                                                Genetics 375 Guest Lecturer                   2008-2012


Community Service and


                                                Friends of Starkweather Creek              2002-2014

                                                            Co-chair                                   2002-2013


                                                Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus             1998-2013

                                                            President                                  2008-2012



                                                Yahara Neighborhood Association         2004-2014

                                                            Secretary                                  2009-2012


                                                Wisconsin Statewide Action Planning

Group                                                  2012 to present

Mentor                                                 2013-2015



                                                Friends of Silverwood Park                   2014 to present

                                                            Secretary                                  2014 to present



Publications                              Languages, Acquired and Intuitive:       2012

A Retrospective


                                                    Teaching Nursing Care of Chronic Illness, P. Minden, C. Gullickson

Contributing Writer                   2005


Editor, A New People Emerge, April 2015
Director and Producer, Steines Family Choir - recording at Johnsburg, Minnesota historic family church, 2014
RADIANCE, Proposal for Union Corners, 2012