Finish Lines: Tim Steinouer

Artist Tim Steinouer above Mt Lebanon’s business district on Washington Road.

You can’t get much more creative than Tim Steinouer. The creative director and president of Design Island Associates, Inc. since 2007, Steinouer spent 20 years in the film industry before shifting to specialty media for attractions, special venues and museums for such clients as Disney, the U.S. Navy and NASA. Steinouer, who lives on Mayfair Drive with his wife, Susan, and son, Sam, shares his talent—he has been a member of the Mt. Lebanon Partnership (Mt. Lebanon’s nonprofit development corporation) for three years. He has championed the Partnership’s placemaking efforts, which will play a big part in the upcoming multimillion-dollar upgrade of Washington Road.

Your work projects are so varied. How do you make all those leaps so seamlessly?

I remember juggling three projects a couple years ago ranging from a training facility for the Navy, a forensic science experience and an exhibit on Catholic Sisters in the United States. That was years ago but at times it reminded me of school and changing classes. Now that I’m older it was invigorating to learn about such different subjects and creatively develop uniquely different experiences for each project. I think it’s the idea that someone is entrusting me to share their story that keeps me focused while working on such different subjects.

What part should art play in our daily life?

Everyone has an opinion about art, which is what makes it so great. It can be thought-provoking at the same time it’s inspiring or confusing. The thing about art in your everyday life is you can experience it individually or share it; it can trigger emotion, imagination or even inspiration. In short, art makes you think in different ways.

Describe your vision for placemaking in Uptown Mt. Lebanon.

Public art, along with many other features, can provide a sense of character and ambience. My vision would be to see Uptown become a vibrant destination for friends and families to meet, shop, dine and enjoy the community. Art would provide an element for conversation and visual character.

What do you think is the Partnership’s most important work?

I think the work the Partnership does provides opportunities for the community beyond the municipality’s role, but complementary to it. From working on things like the placemaking plan, which includes the public art, to zoning, live events, the Artists’ Market and even art scholarships—it would be hard to select just one. I would say the Partnership’s most important work is collaborating with the community and the municipality to make Mt. Lebanon the best it can be for everyone.