The Prodigal Son

Jef Sturm Painting on Canvas

Jef Sturm’s artistic journey began in Akron, Ohio, where he attended a vocational high school and built a portfolio before being accepted at the Cleveland Institute of Art. After college, Sturm landed a dream job with a design firm. He eventually opened his own business, which he operated for two decades.

Though he spent his career working in graphic design, he always continued painting on canvas. He enjoyed annual golf trips to the Myrtle Beach area, so Pawleys Island seemed the perfect place for him and his wife to retire. He now enjoys painting and teaching.

Sturm’s painting of the Prodigal Son will grace in this year’s Georgetown Wooden Boat Show’s poster. The vessel is a familiar sight in the Georgetown Harbor. It is a typical wooden shrimp boat from 1948 with one major difference—its rigging was removed. Sturm depicted the craft on a sunny and placid part of Winyah Bay. He used the setting and light to evoke the sensible and elegant, yet humble, personality of the vessel.

“I think that art is probably one of the more lovely things to do in life, to hang your hat on,” says Sturm. “It’s a great way to make a living and a great way to live.”