Growing up on a dairy farm in a Victorian house in rural Ontario, Stephen was in awe of the decorative elements he found within his seemingly mundane home. The dining room had a decorative tin ceiling, and the walls were covered in baroque-style wallpaper. There was a china cabinet filled with cups and saucers, ornamental plates, and crystal wear. These decorative elements informed his idea of art. Stephen's art practice repurposes and remixes patterns and decorative motifs, along with botanical sketches, with the intention of creating works of beauty and providing moments of pleasure.
Stephen Altena is cofounder of Hundred Dollar Gallery/The Hamilton Art Gallery with Andrew McPhail and a founding member of the Hamilton artist-run collective, The Assembly Gallery. He is a graduate of the Independent Study Program at Dundas Valley School of Art. He lives and works in downtown Hamilton.
A curated selection of Stephen's artwork is available for in-person viewing at SOCIAL SPACE Hamilton,8 Cottage Avenue, Hamilton event on May 3 (opening evening), May 4-5 (10 am to 4pm each day or by appointment) and available for advance online viewing and purchase on April 25, 2024.