Donna Lee Steffens

Miami Marine Stadium Seat Arts Project

“The State of Our Union”

I was inspired to express through this chair what can happen when ideals, like liberty, equality and justice, are not preserved.  These uncertain times allow one to question the current State of our Union and to inquire if the present ideals of America are still germane to those of our Founding Fathers.

Like the Miami Marine Stadium, which was a first of its kind and considered an architectural masterpiece that has now fallen into ruin, so too can the ideals and institutions of this great country if not protected.

I designed the chair in tones of grey. Grey represents the intermediate between darkness and light, hope and hopelessness, so I used grey to convey that ambivalence.  The chair was converted into a rocking chair to capture the comfort I always felt being born in America.  The flag, was adhered to the backrest, in muddled tones, calling into question if the symbol continues to hold upright the ideals of our Constitution.  The seat, which is there for support, was designed with nails pointing up in the shape of a dollar sign symbolizing the power and influence of money on our institutions negating the support that was once equally distributed among all citizens.

The spirit to restore anew the Marine Stadium is no different than the reclamation of ideals captured in our Constitution.  The State of our Union like art evolves, but its essence is always there seeking to express itself.

Donna Steffens

Acrylic Paint, Metal, Nails, Arlon Vinyl


Donna Lee Steffens was born in Miami, Florida, where she also lives and works. Donna earned her BFA (Magna Cum Laude) in 2006, at Florida International University, with a concentration in mixed media. She also studied painting at The Institute For American Universities, in Aix-en-Provence, France. She currently works out of her studio in Hollywood, Florida. 

Her work is in the private collections of Harvey Oxenberg, gallery owner of Oxenberg Fine Art Gallery, Mark and Arlys Raymond, The late Dr. Fredric S. Brandt, and The Honorable Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely. She is also in the permanent collections of Miami Dade College, Doral, and The Deering Estate.

She has received grants and awards, which include, the Leo and Raye Chestler Contemporary Visual Arts Award, The Daniel Azoulay Scholarship, and The Miami Dade College Art Department Scholarship.  

Donna works in a variety of materials that include resin, Plexiglas, and Swarovski crystals. Her work is informed by personal experience and by the desire to unify body, mind and spirit.