Steve, a Shawnee, Kansas native, was born to parents who were both Hallmark artists. He credited his interest in art to his family’s own “dinner table art school” each night.
However, before his career in art began he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving for five years before his honorable discharge. Upon returning home he attended Penn Valley Community College where he earned his associate’s degree.
While at Hallmark he worked in many departments before joining the Keepsake Studio, including the mailroom, manufacturing department, and security.
Even though he worked at Hallmark for 41 years, most Hallmark collectors did not know of him until they saw his name in the 1997 Dream Book, which credited him to the Lone Ranger Lunch Box ornament. His date of actually joining the Studio though was 1995. Beyond his credited work there, he also did a lot of technical work on ornaments that remain uncredited.
For artistic inspiration, he often looked to Michelangelo, whose work he was fortunate enough to see in person while on a trip to Italy. At Hallmark two of his favorite Keepsake Ornament sculptors were Duane Unruh and Ed Seale. For Steve, Ed’s 1985 “Santa’s Ski Trip” represented his belief that life should be fun. “Santa deserves a vacation, too!”, he said.
Eventually, though, perhaps his most favorite sculptor in the Studio was Debra (Murray) Nielson, whom he married on New Year’s Eve 2012. Their wedding including a traditional Scottish kilt for the groom and a cake with unique toppers for both Debra and Steve. Both were Jeeps, a shared passion. Steve’s was his own 1943 Ford GPW (2012) Keepsake ornament and Debra’s was the 2001 60th Anniversary Jeep ornament by former Keepsake Artist, Chris Webb.
Outside of his work for Hallmark, he was known for his ability to play the bagpipes. Many KOC convention attendees may remember the year he marched the parade of costume goers into the Friday night dinner and on to the stage playing them.
Steve was also part of the group of Keepsake Artists, that have lent their time and talent to re-purpose donated, non-functional musical instruments into pieces of art for the Art that Blows, Band of Angels charity auction. For 2019, Debra and Steve collaborated on “Cleveland”, a stylized Sousaphant (elephant) sculpture made of brass instruments.
In July his passing was announced on social media. Steve Goslin was 59 years old.
For those wishing to honor Steve, the family requests donations be made to Christmas in October; 3261 Roanoke, Kansas City, MO 64111 or to the Veterans Community Project; 8900 Troost Avenue; Kansas City, MO 64131.
UPDATE (10.07.19)* – On a sadder note, we’d like to recognize the passing of Hallmark Artist Steve Goslin. Steve’s Hallmark career spanned 41 years, which included designing a number of Keepsake Ornaments, and he was recognized by many for his caring and creative spirit. Beyond his work for Hallmark, Steve shared his creativity and enthusiasm with the Kansas City community. One of those passions, which you’ll read about in this issue, was working with his wife, Keepsake Artist Debra Nielsen, to raise funds for the Kansas City-based charity, Band of Angels. Please keep Steve’s family in your thoughts during this time.
*Excerpted from: “Cover letter included with For Keeps: Volume 18, Issue 3 Fall 2019”