Photographs of Steve Smith creating in his studio, Airhead Grafix, which can be found in McKean County.
Designer Steve Smith earned degrees from the PA Governor's School for the Arts and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Today, he puts his passion for graphic design and screen-printing to good use at Airhead Grafix in Port Allegany.
His home garage has been transformed into a two-floor studio space.
On the main floor, you’ll find his work area.
There are two printing presses – one about 60 years old, the other 30. Screens are stacked and stored. His old Mac computer rests on the desk. This is where most of the work gets done.
Filled with various items related to his trade, the large space takes on a comfortable feeling. Everything seems to have a place.
Hanging on the walls are samples of his designed t-shirts, pinned neatly into squares alongside banners and other creations.
Upstairs you enter Smith’s eclectic “man cave,” filled with his found treasures and motorcycle equipment.
The surroundings provide inspiration for the artisan.
In this space, Smith develops 1-6 color designs for organizations, businesses and events. The designs are then printed on t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and banners, as well as signage.
These images were captured by Karen Heltzel as part of the 2018 Creative Makers Exhibit, a traveling showcase of creative makers working in the PA Wilds.
More about the show here. Proceeds from the sales of the Creative Makers Exhibit photographic tiles & posters will go back into the work of the Wilds Cooperative and the extension of this project as we will continue photographing the creative makers living and working in the PA Wilds.
Each tile measures 8 in x 8 in and is mounted on foam core that is approximately 3/4 in thick and comes with adhesive attached for wall mounting.
Please note: Orders for photographic tiles are placed in a batch at the end of each month with the vendor, and then take an additional 2 weeks for delivery. Please be prepared that your order could take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Meet the Maker
Over 10 years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program. "Creative Makers" reflects the splendor and uniqueness of the Pennsylvania Wilds landscape and rural lifestyle, and the resourcefulness and talent of the artists who live and work here. PA Wilds Juried photographers captured the images, and our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This project is made possible through grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.