Spotlight on S. Korey Steckle – A Shining Example of the Power of Creativity

Written by GAC volunteer writer Lisa Browning

Korey Steckle is an artist/photographer/writer, who recently moved from Guelph to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. He was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, not long after the brutal war that granted the Southern region of India independence from the Northern ruling Pakistan.

Image provided by Korey Steckle

Korey was adopted at 4 months old and was raised in a Christian home. He suffered verbal and physical attacks at the hands of bullies from the age of 5 to 15. Daily. In school and in his neighborhood. 

To combat the immense stress and trauma, he started self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Through those years of struggle and turmoil, art, music, film, photography, literature and politics moved him, inspired him, and introduced him to another world that existed outside of the rigid and violent structures that entrapped him.

The Art Gallery of Ontario became his sanctuary from a very early age. He began taking photographs in rural southwestern Ontario, where he spent the summers on his family’s farm. New Hamburg, Petersburg and Baden all were the subject matter for his early pastoral photography. 

In 2011, Korey began sketching then painting and selling his landscape acrylic work in Toronto and throughout Ontario, based on his East Coast Photography portfolio. But after a serious car crash in 2014, involving drugs and alcohol, he needed time to recover physically and emotionally. 

He won a prestigious award in Guelph soon after, at Art in the Street, and he has been on pace to achieve his original goal: to be listed in Canadian school Art History books.

Creativity is a major tool in aiding Korey day to day, dealing with addiction, PSTD, Post Concussion Syndrome, and ADHD. It allows him to get outside of himself. It demands that he rest properly, awaken early, and follow a schedule–the complete opposite of the way he lived for decades since the age of 14. Creating has become a source of peace, allowing him to rise above and transcend issues that have plagued him.

Image provided by Korey Steckle

What brings Korey the most joy and sense of empowerment is awakening in the morning and knowing that he is being a better example for his 15-year-old son, of how to be a good person. He is no longer driven by addictions, rage, fear and pain, but by the hope and light that persist, and which he shares whenever he is given the opportunity. 

Korey has been clean of drugs for 8 years, and clean of alcohol for 4. His book, David: A Memoir, is in publishing and will be released this September, and his artwork is currently on exhibit in downtown Stratford at Coles & Keys Optical, until mid June.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top