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Lorain PD's Curry: Heart of a cop, soul of an artist

LORAIN — Lorain police Detective Steyven Curry has paid his dues on the street, at times seeing humanity at its worst, but he hasn’t lost the soul of the artist.

“As a detective I’ve been exposed to the real world and the cruelty of the world,” said Curry, whose one-man art show opens July 6. “As an artist you see the beauty of things.”

The Lorain Arts Council-sponsored show, which will feature roughly 35 pieces by Curry, kicks off with an event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at 737 Broadway. It is free and open to the public.

Sometimes, Curry said, the 53-year-old’s two worlds bleed into one another. For instance, he said his work as a police officer informed one of the centerpiece works that will be on display during the show — a painting of Cleveland kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight before their decade of captivity in the home of Ariel Castro.

“The piece captures the innocence and beauty of how they really are,” Curry said.

That piece will be donated to a charity raising money for the trio who were freed earlier this year and will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to benefit the women, Curry said.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Curry moved to Lorain County when he was 12, but even before he arrived he was interested in art and had shown the ability to catch bad guys.

He recalled that when he was still in elementary school, the student he was competing against in an art show took down one of his drawings, crumpled it up and hid it behind the bleachers. Curry saw him and reported him to the principal, who recovered the piece, smoothed it out and bought it.

Curry said he got his artistic streak and some of his training from his mother, who also was a talented artist.

He said he has produced art his whole life, including a few previous shows. But at the same time he’s had to make a living, raising two biological children and three stepsons.

After graduating from Elyria High School in 1977, Curry joined the U.S. Navy and spent four years working with munitions. After leaving the service, he spent time working with youth in Lorain County, including stints coaching. He also attended Oberlin College for a couple of years before joining the Lorain Police Department in 1992 and working his way up to detective.

“I was choosing a career and a profession that’s honorable and good and able to take care of my responsibilities, but also allowed me not to lose sight of the dream, which is creating,” Curry said.

He said the show, entitled “Evolution of an Artist,” will feature work that he has completed recently, such as the piece featuring the kidnapped women but also pieces from his younger years.

Curry, who often carries a sketchbook with him, said he’s excited for the work he’s done in the past, but also for the art he has yet to create.

“I always find the best is ahead,” Curry said. “You always try to chase your goal of making your best work.”

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

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