Steve O’Hearn’s environmental and product designs, and theater productions have been recognized with over 40 awards. The New York Times says he has “a cinematic visual vocabulary that makes you think of fever-dream movie directors like Peter Greenaway, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Godfrey Reggio.” The Scotsman compares his stage designs to “walking through the wardrobe to Narnia, or winning a golden ticket into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.” He has toured Asia, Europe and America with Squonk Opera, which he co-founded with composer Jackie Dempsey over 20 years ago. He has received grants from the NEA (6 since 2013), the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Jim Henson Foundation with Squonk and also received the American Theatre Wing’s Hewes Design Award for his work on Broadway.
Steve recently had a solo show of his work at the Andy Warhol Museum where he was Heinz Artist-in-Residence. He has been awarded three International Design Awards and five Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships and his work has been published and exhibited internationally, including at the Prague Quadrennial twice. In addition to his Squonk Opera work, he has designed for a score of theater productions, designing several shows for the Hawaii Theater in Honolulu, and the multimedia Macbeth with the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Marc Masterson. He completed a public art commission for Pittsburgh’s new Lawrence Convention Center. At the Rhode Island School of Design (B.F.A.) and Carnegie Mellon University (M.F.A.), Steve studied art, design and theater.
He has conducted design and interdisciplinary art workshops, master classes and residencies at over fifty universities, secondary and elementary schools across the U.S, including the University of Maryland, American Visionary Art Museum, SUNY Oswego, University of North Carolina – Wilmington, Towson University and Mississippi School of the Arts.