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I needed to make something useful

Why luthiery?

I began making stringed instruments after my father died in 2016. Mom had passed away three years earlier and I needed to manage their estate and look after the disposition of their personal effects. That required my attention for an extended period.

My artwork is highly conceptual and technically demanding. I was unable to focus on art and I felt depressed. I have always been driven to make stuff and I still needed to occupy my hands. I wanted to make something useful. I started by making a ukulele. Two years went by and I made only one drawing and a couple of woodcuts, but more than 25 ukuleles!

By spring of 2018, I felt like myself again. With great energy, I resumed experimenting with new drawings and paintings (and ukuleles and guitars)…

Mike Lyon builds a quarter size guitar in the woodshop of his studio in downtown Kansas City, MO (photo: Jim Barcus)

Mike Lyon

Mike is a full-time artist in Kansas City, Missouri.

Lyon and his wife, Linda, have shared a stand in the second violin section of KC Civic Orchestra since 2001. They have five children and (so far) five young grandchildren.

Mike’s artwork is in the permanent collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Mirianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art, the Springfield Art Museum and numerous other public and private collections.

You can learn about Lyon’s fascinating artwork at – please don’t hesitate to contact Mike at +1 816-213-3666 or