Meet Koz

KozSteve (Koz) Koslowski was born and lives in Ortonville, Michigan. He was a new construction plumber for 32 years. In February 2006, new home construction in Michigan was at a standstill so Steve decided to spend two months at our leased home in Jamaica. This was the first time in his life that Steve had left our home town for more than two weeks.

Inspired by the vivid tropical colors, the sun and the sea, he began to paint “fun fish” on scrub brushes to clean the stone steps leading down to the sea. Our landlord and friend, Annabella Proudlock, discovered these brushes during her morning swim in the sea and told Steve, “I could sell these brushes in the gallery, and you could pay your rent with the money”. Annabella Proudlock is a renowned Jamaican artist and the owner of Harmony Hall art gallery ( Steve began painting brushes with the intention of selling the brushes in the gallery.

Later that month, Annabella invited Steve on a trip sponsored by the Jamaican Georgian Society, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Georgian-style architecture in Jamaica. This trip included a visit to a botanical garden, an artist’s studio and the Swift-Purscell Boys’ Home. When they arrived at the Swift-Purscell Boys’ Home, Steve was struck by the beauty of the Georgian style Great House, but as he entered the house he realized the entire back of the structure was destroyed. The house had been hit by a hurricane in 1998 forcing the boys out of the Great House and into concrete barracks. When Steve saw the devastation to the boys’ home and a semi-truck rim that the impoverished children were using as a swing, it tugged at his heart. He knew that he had to do something for these boys. This need to help nagged at him for a couple of days, and he woke up during the night knowing that he would sell his brushes to raise money for the boys.

Steve began painting tropical “fun fish” on various wooden items- scrub brushes, hammers, toilet plungers, trinket boxes, grill sets, garden sets, etc. to raise money for the boys. Steve began selling these items in both Jamaica and the U.S. He had immediate success and was invited to participate as an Artist at the Harmony Hall art gallery during an art exhibition in March 2007. Two well known artists at the exhibition recognized his artistic ability and suggested that he begin painting on canvas. He took their advice and within six months his paintings were on display at Harmony Hall beside the works of famous Jamaican artists.

Similar to the Jamaican Intuitive Artists, Steve’s work is divinely inspired. When he picks up the paint brush, he has no plan for the canvas. His inspiration flows through him and creates the painting.

He followed his passion and created “Koz’s Fun Fish”. His goal is to bring a smile to those who view his work. He has never studied art, never taken a self improvement class or read a self improvement book, and he’s probably never seen “The Secret”, but he’s living a charmed life by following his passion and his heart, living a life of purpose and serving others.