Meet the Artist: Bruce Stebner

Bruce Stebner 2
From Akron to France, Bruce Stebner’s brushstrokes transcend across borders and mediums.

By Kelli Comer

Local artist Bruce Stebner tells people he was born with crayons in his hand, and that isn’t far from the truth. With ample experience in both 3D and 2D artistic formats, he brings his creativity to life vividly on any surface that calls to him.

Bruce’s first memories recall drawing on rolls of paper stretched across the living room floor. By the time he was a teenager, Bruce was making pottery with the potter’s wheel and kiln his father built for him.

Bruce completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Kent State University. After graduating, he served as an interpretive craftsman, demonstrating historic pottery practices in the museum world. This experience laid the groundwork for his 30-plus year career as a studio potter. More than 20 years ago, Bruce’s career shifted to include 2D art when a commission for ceramic architecture details led to painting murals across the United States. Painting murals led to painting in oil, a passion which now consumes his creative energy.

“I am a visual artist, painting mainly in oils,” Bruce explains. “But I have also painted in acrylic, watercolor and soft pastels. In order to achieve the effects I desire, I paint with both brushes and palette knives, building up and removing layers of paint to create the dreamlike quality found in my paintings. Sometimes I paint ‘alla prima,’ meaning all in one session. Most of my paintings are built up layers of paint over weeks, months and even years to achieve the final effect.”

Bruce’s work has been featured in Country Living, Country Home, the Plain Dealer, the Akron Beacon Journal and the Chicago Tribune. His pottery has been shown and sold at galleries across the country, including the Mansfield Art Museum, Akron Art Museum and the Museum of America Folk Art in New York. He served as President of the Akron Society of Artists for six years. Although his paintings have been handled by galleries around the country and won awards in regional art exhibitions, Bruce finds it most rewarding when he can personally facilitate people to collect his art.

Bruce Stebner

An avid traveler, Bruce recently returned from an artistic adventure, painting in several regions in France. He has taught and conducted artistic adventures about Europe, focusing on the French countryside. Bruce’s first international solo art show was held in 2015 in the southwest of France. Stateside, Bruce paints and teaches from his studio in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood.

Stebner Studio is located at 954 Hereford Drive in Akron. Visit or email for more information and studio hours. Follow him on Facebook @BruceStebner.Artist and Instagram @BruceStebner.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment