Steven Lester grew up in Atlanta and always had an enthusiasm for sports. As a Georgia State University student studying visual arts, he was commissioned to illustrate a series of program covers for Georgia Tech football. He began his career as a commercial illustrator and soon became creative director of Turner Broadcasting System. Ted Turner owned the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks at that time, and Lester met a number of the players.
Lester’s career allowed him little time for painting but didn’t diminish his love for action-oriented sports art. When he and his wife adopted two children, he found himself traveling and becoming a conflicted, absentee father. After considerable deliberation, he made a conscious career change, resigning from the advertising agency to attend seminary. For the next 20 years, he pastored churches and pioneered numerous, creative ministry and missions initiatives. He also began focusing his creative skills advancing causes and issues of value to him. He traveled the world making lifelong friends from Russia to India to Africa, but had little time for cultivating his passion for drawing and painting.
After four decades of focusing on other priorities and beginning to lean toward retirement, Lester shifted his focus and embraced his love of painting. He produced more than 200 paintings in two years and was named featured artist of the month by The National Art Museum of Sport (NAMOS), a fine art museum based in Indianapolis. His 2018 schedule so far includes two solo shows.
The Heart of a Champion Solo Sports Art Show
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays
Noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays
Cherokee Arts Center
94 North St., Canton 30114
Featuring more than 70 paintings on display.
2-4 p.m. Jan. 13
The public is invited.