Born in Fairfax, VA, Steve does not view himself as a traditional professional artist. To the contrary, he is a retired career Naval Officer, helicopter pilot, and current metal fabrication small business owner. though he does hold degrees in mechanical engineering, and human systems integration, his only formal training as an artist has been through a few classes at Anne Arundel Community College, and a course in marble carving in pietrasanta, italy, . These classes re-ignited a long-dormant passion for the arts that Steve hadn’t explored since high school. He currently resides in Mechanicsville, MD, and was a 2019 recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council’s Public Art project grant for his installation piece “Wind Cheer” at the Port of Leonardtown Winery in Leonardtown, MD.
My career followed a wild and varied path, over the next 25 years, that included operating nuclear power plants, flying helicopters, training Iraqi military forces on an oil platform in the Arabian Gulf, and supporting Special Forces work with the Afghan National Police.
Now, having retired from the Navy, I am revisiting the road not taken to rediscover the artist in remission within me. I believe the experience I’ve gained over 5 wartime deployments now empowers that scared, young artist with confidence and something to say.
My work allows me to process the emotional toll of a life spent as a warfighter, while I explore realism, surrealism, and the abstract through different media.
I hope you enjoy my work.
- LCDR Steve "Scuba" Rands, USN (ret.)
Art has been a part of my life since childhood. My talent emerged in elementary school drawing competition, and evolved consistently through high school. Upon graduating, I explored furthering my art education at the collegiate level, but was deterred by the prospect of incurring mountains of student debt while lacking a voice, and confidence in myself.
Ultimately, the need to escape the nest and experience life on my own terms led me to enlist in the United States Navy.
1995-1999 - BSME, Purdue University
2016-2018 - MS, Human Systems Integration, US Naval Postgraduate School
2018 - Cert. in Small Business Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Stanford Graduate School of Business
2018 - Metal Sculpture Fabrication, Anne Arundel Community College
2019 - Metal Casting, AACC
Grants & Awards
2019 - MD State Arts Council - Public Art Project Grant
2021 - National Cherry Blossom Festival "Art in Bloom" Selectee