Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Even if you don’t know Kelly personally, you’ll probably recognize her photo. She had her first Seattle exhibition in Pioneer Square in 1982, at The Prints and The Pauper and has since planted deep-roots in the community. Her representational (and often humorous) paintings are regularly on view – ranging from punny views of animals crossed with ‘all-American’ products like Mice-A-Roni, Benson & Hedgehogs, and Star-Ducks Coffee, to watercolors of historical and mythological figures.

Kelly’s flamboyant persona and attention-getting ArtCars are staples at First Thursday and art events around the city. She considers her embellished vehicles “rolling canvases, the ultimate public art”. Perhaps you have seen the Excessories Odd-yssey, a Honda van covered with women’s fashion accessories (jewelry, purses, shoes, belts, sunglasses and more) on the road or at the Seattle ArtCar Blowout, which she founded and has produced for the past 11 years.

And yes, there is more…Lyles also extends her considerable talents and adventurous spirit to organizations such as the Fremont Arts Council, SIFF, multiple local theaters, and as an art instructor at Bellevue College. But perhaps she is best known for her massive email list, to which she forwards visual arts information and opportunities – keeping us all in the loop.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

Life is a lot of fun, and I’d like viewers to share that in my work. I’ve a number of “styles” and media, all are based on representational art steeped in classical training. These include trompe L’oeil on furniture, portraits, murals, and various series.

As a child, living abroad in Switzerland, England, Denmark and Japan I missed some “Americana.” Maybe this spawned my Rodents paintings, fur-framed animals with “all-American” products (i.e., SPAM-STER, MICE-A-RONI, CAT-SUP).

There’s also an ARTISTS series (KLEE-NEX, FRIDA’S CORN CHIPS, RUBEN’S REUBEN, etc). Also a slightly “darker” large oil canvasses: ‘THE 12 STEPS’ (figurative images of addiction), or figurative watercolours ‘SAINTS & SINNERS’ (Mythological characters). The newest is CANDYLAND, an interactive series of 50 portraits of sugary treats with a giant gameboard mural.

My studio, home and Artcars have been featured in innumerable television shows and magazine/newspaper articles. Thanks for taking the time to look.

Kelly Lyles