Santa Cruz local artist, Steve Hosmer, was the guest for the the June 15th live broadcast of UCSC’s KZSC’s Artists on Art show to talk about the art of signs and posters design.

Are signs propaganda?

It was great talking to him because as a member of NextSpace I am surrounded by his bold artwork every working day.

The following pictures of his work were taken at NextSpace.

During the show, we spoke of how Steve got into this art form. His career in art and sign making began when he was working as a waiter at the Chart House in Los Gatos and the owner asked that he make a parking sign.  He did and the owner loved it.  

Hence began  a new career in Pleasure Point where he was already making stained glass windows.

In 1984 his neighbor, Harry Stokes, retired and Steve took over the business, Stokes Signs at the Sash Mill where business still resides.  Through hard work and a lot of lessons learned, since then, Steve has built a successful and prolific business.  His signs are all over Santa Cruz.

Five years ago, Steve began making poster art as a way to continue revenue on his work.  Signs generally are a one time fee and payment.

To date, he has created over 40 local paintings, including Elkhorn Slough, the Boardwalk’s ferris wheel, the Santa Cruz wharf and Bonny Doon, to name just a few. He credits two German artists as his inspiration — Ludwig Hohlwein and Lucien Bernhard.

For more information about about Steve Hosmer’s work and Stokes Signs, please go to

If  you want to see his studio and witness  the process, you’re in luck.  Steve partakes in Open Studios.  This year the event will take place the first three weekends in October.  This year is particularly special because it is the will be the 25th  year of Open Studios put on by the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County.

If you missed the live broadcast, you can listen to our show in entirety by clicking on the triangle below. [audio:].

The following is a twitvid we took before the show:

More art by guest, Steve Hosmer.

Hike California is a series  of posters being designed for
The State of California Santa Cruz.

Photo Credits:  Seabright lighthouse , Both  and Westside rainbow from Seabright Beach

My daughter, Justine, is the model on the bike for this years and last years  logo for the Tour of California.


I'm a radioactive media making artivist working every day to make the world a better place.

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