The Art of Nicholas Kyle

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About Me

My Background

Nicholas Kyle was born in 1942 and lived in many areas of Texas and California until he moved to Oklahoma City, where he completed high school in 1960.  He earned his BA in Art and Education in 1965 from the University of Central Oklahoma. He earned his MA in Painting and Design in 1972 from Purdue University.  He retired August 1, 2008 after forty-three years teaching art.  His most recent position was Associate Professor of Art and Chair of the Art Department, Missouri Southern State University teaching Art Theory, Beginning and Advanced Painting and Art Appreciation.  He also served in the U.S. Navy from 1967-72.


Since earning his BA, he has mounted thirty-five solo exhibitions and over sixty group exhibitions.  His work has been exhibited in Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, Missouri, Louisiana, Arizona, California, Illinois and Sweden.  His work is in numerous private collections including the State Art Collection of Oklahoma, Kirkpatrick Museum, Tinnin Fine Arts Center at Three Rivers Community College, the Mabee-Gerrer Museum, Spiva Center for the Arts, and the Nestle-Purina Corporate Collection.  He has served as juror for numerous state and regional art exhibitions in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri:  including Young Talent in Oklahoma, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, Individual Artists of Oklahoma, Art Festival Oklahoma, Oklahoma Watercolor Association, Parsons Art Festival, MOAK Four State Exhibit at the Springfield Museum of Art in Springfield, MO, St. Louis Watercolor Assn., and the 2017 Joplin Art Festival.


Gallery Affiliations

Locus Gallery - St. Louis, Missouri (periodic representation)

M.A. Doran Gallery – Tulsa, Oklahoma (periodic representation)

Jann Jeffrey Gallery – Paseo District, Oklahoma City, OK (periodic representation)

Facebook Gallery Page:  Nicholas Kyle Artist

Honors and Awards

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Who’s Who in America

1996, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2007 Who's Who Among American Teachers

1992 Governor's Art Award - State of Oklahoma 

1992 Award of Excellence - Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence 

1992 Painting accepted in the Oklahoma State Art Collection -

1991 National Art Teacher of the Year, Walt Disney American Teacher Awards

1991 Oklahoma Art Educator of the Year 

1988-90 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education through the NAERC at New York University to conduct and publish research on aesthetics and spatial abilities.


College Art Association - Past  

American Association of University Professors - Past  

National Art Education Assn - Past

Spiva Center for the Arts – Governing Board Member; Past President; Exhibits Committee.  

Oklahoma Visual Art Coalition – Founding Board Member  

Individual Artists of Oklahoma – Past Board Member; Exhibits Committee      

Oklahoma Art Education Association – Past President, VP, Treasurer, YTIO Chair

Missouri Art Education Association – Past

Oklahoma Arts Institute – Past Board Member

Joplin Regional Artist Coalition – Current Member

Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce – Cultural Arts Committee – Current 

Pro Musica Joplin – Past President, Current Board

Post Memorial Art Library – Current Board

Artist Statement

Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that there is no simple answer to what makes an object a work of art and the answer becomes more puzzling the more artists challenge the notion of what art is.  Art can mean many things to different people, but only if they take the time to think and educate their senses. One’s cultural background can also play an important part in how a piece is perceived and interpreted.  Unlike most of the electronic media today, sculpture, painting and prints require an individual to engage and interact with the piece in order to gain insight into the meaning.  I have found that good art can ask questions, confuse, stimulate, mesmerize and create anxiety.  Most of all it communicates emotions, ideas and concepts.

I have always derived great pleasure from making things.  Responding to my surroundings and interpreting my environment visually came naturally.  Defining the meaning or finding the “why” is secondary to the pleasure that is inherent in the process. The most common thread in my work has been my love of color; pure, vibrant but subtle color relationships.  This romantic or emotional theme is most prevalent in the underpinnings of my landscape paintings but is a major component of my figurative pieces, The Journey series, as well.  The Altered Planes series uses complex color harmonies along with subtle construction techniques to explore illusion and spatial ambiguity.

Another fascination that drives my urge to make art is creating textural patterns out of the most seemingly common materials. Finding materials or combinations of materials that give stimulus to a particular concept is a passion.  As I develop the form, content becomes apparent through the process.  The Barrier series evolved from an interest in pattern and explores a variety of mental and philosophical barriers we face in life.  A pastime of mine is collecting things that our culture has discarded or left behind. I have placed some of these items in various boxes or altar pieces to give them new status. 

For art to have personal meaning, where a person can have a deep response to the shared vision of an artist, it is not necessary for all of the pieces of the puzzle to be in place. Good art asks individuals to bring a part of themselves into the process.  Most artists are searching for answers to their visual questions.  Which is why I think that, in most cases, the last person you want to ask about the meaning of a particular piece is the artist. Yes, they may provide insight and clarification, but the artist is a visual animal and responds more readily to the visual world than the verbal.  In the end, there are no simple answers to the quest for artistic meaning, only larger more complex questions.  

My Inspiration

I find interesting travel, wine, food, and music make life worth living and inspires me to spend time in the studio.  I enjoy hiking and biking with my wife in our spare time and exploring new places together.  Our time together has expanded my understanding of life and the world in which we live.