Jack Stockman grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. He was the oldest of a family of five boys and a girl. His parents were both teachers and often relied on him for babysitting his siblings. In order to make it fun, he started The Tiger Club, helped them make crafts, decorations, and homemade gifts for holidays, told stories, and wrote and illustrated his own children’s books to read to them. He still enjoys telling, writing, and illustrating stories.
Jack attended Fort Wayne Bible College and the American Academy of Art in Chicago. After completion of art school, he worked as an art director for a few years before becoming a free lance illustrator. For many years his focus was advertising art. Clients included AT&T, IBM, TV Guide, Quaker Oats, Kellogg, and Disney.
In recent years Jack has concentrated on painting murals and illustrating children's books, an area of interest he shares with his wife Kathy, who is a former elementary school teacher. He has illustrated over twenty books, including Benjamin’s Box, The Greatest Gift, Tales of the Kingdom, Happy Songs, and The Christmas Wreath, as well as many book and magazine covers. He believes that when we think of children, we need to see them as individuals, unique and with spirits worthy of respect. To him, the art he does for children is just as important as that which he does for “adult” paintings. He remembers the feeling of dreaming deep into a picture book as a child and considers his paintings successful if he can capture that feeling of wonder now.
Jack’s interests include listening to music, playing & watching sports— and toys. He enjoys anything that flies: kites, planes, and frisbees. He and his son, Shea, have made dozens of paper airplanes together. Jack also collects tin toys and yo yo’s. He also loves to experiment in all art forms, including fabric, wood, paper, and clay.
Family and friends are important to Jack. Working at home allowed him to be a very involved parent and he is a great cook. He enjoys spending time with his family. Jack taught a middle school Sunday School class for many years and continues to meet with his former students and other young men. He thanks God for the many people in his life who have been a blessing to him and hopes to be used by God to be an encouragement and blessing to others, both through the gift of art and through personal relationships. Jack says, “God is good!”
See more of Jack's work at www.artbyjack.com
Kathy Stockman, nee Gurkowski, grew up in the Chicago area. She was the oldest of a family of four girls and a boy. From kindergarten on, Kathy loved to read and was renowned for her speed and the number of cards with her name on them at the local public library. (This was before the era of computers.) She played the violin, but eventually had to give it up due to an extreme lack of talent. Kathy belonged to many groups and clubs, which was a precursor of life to come. Kathy attended Biola College, near Los Angeles, California. There she developed wonderful friends whom she still treasures. She majored in Social Science, Bible, and Elementary Education. After graduation, Kathy returned to her roots in Chicago where she taught kindergarten and fifth and sixth grades for about ten years. During this time she started attending Circle Church where she met Jack. The union of an artist whose friends were mostly fellow artists, musicians, dancers, and other creative sorts with a teacher whose friends were mostly fellow teachers, social workers, or nurses was interesting! However, Kathy and Jack had much in common and shared the same goals and values. Their interests intersected and one of the results has been The Advent Book. After the birth of her first child, Kaidrea, Kathy left full time teaching and took up a variety of other pursuits including volunteer work, substitute teaching, a junior high arts program, serving as a library media specialist, writing, and editing. Kathy loves being part of a team and believes that working together is a good way for people to get to know and encourage one another. Friends and family are very important to Kathy and she very much appreciates the times she spends with her sisters and other family and friends. Kathy is thankful for many years of seeing God’s work and proofs of his faithfulness. She and Jack are looking forward to seeing how God will continue to use The Advent Book and Celebrations & Traditions ministry in their lives and in the lives of other people.
Shea & Becky Stockman