Born in 1951 in Sioux City, Iowa, John Martin Streeby at age eighteen, found himself in the United States Army on his way to Viet Nam. In 1972, after serving eleven months as a surgical technician at the 85th EVAC Hospital in Phu Bai, he returned home looking for a way to express in words what he had seen. He chose the language of poetry. He attended college and worked at various industrial and agricultural occupations including horse shoeing.
In 1982 he moved to New Mexico and through horse shoeing became interested in the language of metal as art. In 1994 he moved to El Paso, Texas and began working in earnest at making his own creations. In 1998 he moved, with his wife and son to Redding, California. where the city commissioned him to create 12 salmon sculptures for a highly visible intersection near the site of the new city civic center. Since then he has done a second public art project commissioned by the public health clinic, a steel sculpture which sits atop a concrete fountain outside the main entrance.
Currently, John creates abstract steel sculptures expressive of the metamorphosis of the rural landscape into an urban landscape.