John "Stickman" Hostetter
John Hostetter and his wife Del Appleby live in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. He has taken up painting as his new vocation while continuing to be a musician. He also makes some really cool walking sticks.
Please visit his website at: http://www.johnhostetter.com
Actor-musician-artist seems to have nine lives
By Eleanore Osborne
October 21, 2003
If a cat has nine lives, that's nothing compared to the number that artist John Hostetter has racked up - and he's still counting.
There's Hostetter, the actor - on stage, on big and small screens; Hostetter the musician, singer, songwriter; Hostetter, the artist; and now, Hostetter, the cat painter.
Hostetter is one of 41 artists participating in the Picatsso Project, culminating with an auction Nov. 22 at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach. His entry, "The Cat With a Heart of Gold," suggests one facet of Hostetter's complex personality and interests.
His talents have led him, on one hand, to play King Lear in a National Shakespeare Company production and other roles actors dream of, and, on the other, to sing second tenor in an a cappella doo-wop group.
Hostetter and his wife, Del Appleby, have had lifelong interests in the performing arts, but fine art is something new to him.
The couple bought a home in New Smyrna Beach 11 years ago, "but we got tired of just visiting it, and moved here in February 2001."
Before that, Los Angeles was home. Appleby worked as a theater actress and dancer, while he forged a successful acting career in movies and television.
On a recent day, Hostetter was at Jonah's Cats Art Gallery, the Flagler Avenue venue where he is represented. His works are toward the back of the space, which seems fitting for the newcomer.
Before moving to New Smyrna Beach, Hostetter's California home had been his only canvas - the Joan Miro-like bathroom, the Rothko-homage refrigerator. (Can't you just picture it?)
Leaning against the gallery's wall are his signature walking sticks, home grown, in some cases, in his backyard.
At 6 feet, 2 inches, Hostetter could be the real-life cop he portrayed in the movie "The People Under the Stairs," or the government agent of the film "No Way Out."
Looking at all 190 pounds of him - hippie hair, hazel eyes that sometimes look blue - you might make stereotypical assumptions, and then do a mental double-take when he starts talking about art.
Here's a bit of what he says about The Cat With a Heart of Gold:
"Returning from a journey of discovery across the alchemical rainbow... she proudly wears the heart of gold reflecting the light of love."
Not what your might expect to hear form someone who portrayed a Bolian Officer in the movie "Star Trek Resurrection."
But you might expect it knowing that Hostetter has both an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, and an MFA in theatre from Cornell.
After UNC, he toured with a jazz band, and still plays music once a week at a New Smyrna Beach club. In more ways than one, sleepy New Smyrna Beach is a long way from Los Angeles.
"But I don't miss it in the least," he said. "My whole temperament has changed."
Even with memories of a recurring major role on "Murphy Brown," of starring guest shots on other TV shows such as "Arliss" and "NYPD Blue" to "Who's The Boss" and "JAG," it's still "No thank you" to all those orders stage folks used to bark at him.
But following a different path isn't only about autonomy for Hostetter. In a sense, even with film and CDs to preserve a performance, acting and music are ephemeral - disappearing as they're being created.
"This (art) is tangible," he said. "Someone comes in , falls in love with it and goes, "Oh!" and takes it home with them."
Just to keep his hand in the other arts, however, he has just cut a CD of songs he composed over the past 30 years, and one new one.
Singer, songwriter, session performer, producer - he does it all, and plays guitar, keyboards, flute, percussion. Except for stand-up comedy and improvisation, making art is one of his few non-collaborative performances.
Of course, he still has an agent. Maybe some day he'll think of something else he wants to be.
Click on the following links for samples of his work.
Painting - Flamingo Dreaming
Walking Sticks - Samples #1 Samples #2
John's music - Here are previews of some of the songs on his CDs.
The Beast Is Dead - Released in 2003
Legend Of Detroit
These files are in .mp3 format.
Left click on the song title to play them. If you are connecting to the internet by a dialup connection, right click the name and save to your hard drive before playing.
.mp3 file require an .mp3 player such as Winamp which can be downloaded at:
John Hostetter - Released in 2000
I'll Used To Be
If you are interested in purchasing any of John's creations, you can contact him at (386) 424-0634 or visit his website at http://www.johnhostetter.com
John has a new band with a new CD. Click this link to go to The Pirate's website.
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