Marlene Steele


Renovation of Cincinnati Museum Center


This series of pastel and oil paintings were created in response to the renovation of an important American Art Deco icon: Cincinnati Union Terminal. Pastel works done on site served as concepts of the larger oil paintings completed both on site and in the studio. "People at work in the world" is a development within these pieces that celebrates the trade and craft of the workers who brought this storied American train station back to life. 

Awarded the Ohio Arts Council "Individual Excellence Grant" for Fiscal Year 2019.

Urban Landscapes


My industrial environment paintings explore my personal experiences in the commercial manufacturing district surrounding my Cincinnati based studio. In these compositions I am experimenting with new brushwork bravado in a “dirty” color palette. A variety of spatial confrontations present the viewer with an immediate impression of the urban industrial district, replete with litter and debris. A still-life of weeds and wood pallets punctuates the towering cavern with dirty light-filtering panes in “Central Fabricators”.

These are not the manicured aprons of suburban industrial parks, where green weedless utopias bask in bright, unclouded horizons. This is the blighted war zone of the inner urban, populated with dayworkers and denizens alike.