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String Theory…

I am a full-time artist in Kansas City, Missouri. My work 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

I began making stringed instruments after my Mom died May 5, 2013 and Dad died Feb. 25, 2016. After Dad’s death, I had to deal with their estate and the disposition of their personal effects, and I felt depressed. My artwork is highly conceptual and technically demanding, and I just didn’t have the energy to focus on it. I’ve always been driven to make stuff, and I strongly felt the need to use my hands to make something useful, so I started building ukuleles. Two years went by while I made one drawing, a couple of woodcuts, and more than 25 ukuleles. By spring of 2018, I felt better. I picked up where I’d left off, experimenting with drawing, painting, ukuleles and guitars.

From “Modern Printmaking” by Sylvie Covey (Watson-Guptill, January 26, 2016): Mike Lyon has been called a father of post-digital printmaking because of his extraordinary use of digital technologies. He has created large drawings, paintings, and woodblock prints using computer software that he has written or adapted to control machinery, and he has invented or adapted the machinery itself in order to manipulate traditional tools and materials using very unconventional methods.

* This site displays Mike Lyon’s luthiery. You can find Lyon’s other artwork at