Youngstown’s Butler Institute of American Art’s new Steranko exhibit set to attract comic book fans
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — If comic books and superheroes interest you, so will the new exhibit at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown.
Wendy Swick of the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown said one of her favorite works by artist Jim Steranko is his painting of superhero Nick Fury.
“That face is Steranko. So there’s a lot of Steranko in Nick Fury,” Swick said.
Steranko has 65 works which now occupy two rooms in the Butler – the largest Steranko exhibition ever – including his Wildcat O’Shea book covers, Indiana Jones work for George Lucas and the many pieces he made of The shadow.
“A lot of heroes have a dark side and with Steranko you’ll see darkness popping out, but not with blacks and grays, but you’ll see bright hues of blue and purple,” Swick said.
“I thought it might be perfect for the butler,” longtime director Louis Zona said.
Zona admits it’s not Butler’s typical exposition.
“We are known for our traditionalism. It is a step forward. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I think the community is going to really love it,” Zona said.
“You see Nick Fury in there, Captain America, Spiderman,” Swick said.
Some of Steranko’s comic book originals are also on display – some of which have received the highest praise.
“Steranko is well associated with the wonderful world. He was sort of Stan Lee’s right-hand man, and Stan Lee considered him the best,” Swick said.
The Steranko exhibit just opened on Saturday, but so far, even for Butler purists, the reaction has been positive.
“We had fine arts people walking around and they were pleasantly surprised because they didn’t really come to see this and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do here,” Swick said.
A reception for Jim Steranko will be held at The Butler on Saturday, April 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at Butler’s website.
Steranko will then do a signing at the DoubleTree Hotel downtown. The exhibition itself runs until May 29.