Godbold artist

Steve works from his studio in Jackson, Mississippi. Animals, especially dogs, are of particular interest to him because they are such a metaphor for unconditional love and a great example for humans. Art to him is a way to capture the relationship between an owner and a beloved pet and pay tribute to animals who can have such a positive effect on our lives.

Caring for people and animals has been a big part of Steve's life. In the mid 1990's while living in Texas, he volunteered for Equest, a therapeutic horseback riding program for people with mental and physical handicaps based in Wylie, Texas. During his work with Equest, Steve watched the mental attitudes and physical capabilities of the participants improve through the interaction with horses. He has witnessed the same remarkable benefits the last three years in Jackson as a volunteer for Horses for the Handicapped, which celebrated its 28th year. Over 1500 people with special needs from all over the state participated in horseback riding, wagon rides, games, space jumps, and a petting zoo.

It was after Steve first moved back to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1996 to care for his mother, Maurice and his stepfather, Tom, that he came to personally experience the profound relationship between people and animals. As the only child, Steve had full responsibility for his aging parents' care yet found tremendous support from friends, family and the Northminster Baptist Church Caregivers. In 1999, however, it was in Tia, a black mix breed with one flop ear, that Steve found his soul mate and a "caregiver extraordinaire." Tia's companionship during the days of intensive care for Tom, who eventually passed away in 2001, allowed Steve to feel for himself the healing spirit of an animal. Inspired, Steve decided to share Tia with the residents of the assisted living facility where his mother lived and took her to the Baptist Adult Day Care for pet therapy where both Steve and his mother volunteered.

In September of 2004 Tia became ill and left the world in November. "Where there is great love," a friend told him, "there is great sorrow in passing." Steve knew the reverse is true as well: where there is great sorrow in passing, there is great love.

A month or two later Steve fostered an American Bulldog, Pinkie and shortly after adopted her. Ike was added to the Godbold household a month later. They are family and Steve feels fortunate to have them.

Steve's mother Maurice passed away in 2006. Having received so much support during the years of caring for his parents, Steve had the desire to give back. He began doing graphic design work for the Mississippi Animal Rescue League (MARL). MARL processes the largest number of adoptions of any shelter in the Jackson area and its programs, including an active spay/neuter program, and cruelty investigation program, which underline Steve's belief in the humane treatment of all animals. Invigorated by the creative and meaningful work with MARL, Steve accepted a commission from the director of the league to paint three paintings to hang in the newly constructed MARL facility which officially opened in 2007.

Through his work for MARL and his community of friends and family, Steve continues to receive commissions to paint animals for owners and other institutions who support
their care.

In January 2008 Steve joined the Caregivers group at Northminster Baptist Church to be a part of the group's care in action.

Steve continues his art in the spirit of care for people...care for animals.

pic steve

© 2009 Steve Godbold, All Rights Reserved