"True innovators in the art world, and Mitch Lyons is one of them, make the complex appear to be so simple, so clear ... Mitch Lyons has added to the vocabulary of contemporary art."
- Leonard Lehrer, Department of Art and Art Professions, New York University
Consider art forms developed in the 20th Century. With each, one or two names come forward in the mind as the leading forces in ushering in new techniques, visions, tools and terms of expression. There are very few that can lay claim to a truly new method of expressing those visions.
Mitch Lyons had a unique combination of backgrounds that was most likely necessary for the introduction of his equally unique techniques. His graphics degree and printmaking experience met with his art and ceramic degree elsewhere. As fusion in jazz and rock brought forth new sounds, his fusion of clay work and printmaking brought new sights.
He noticed that while working on decorating pottery works he created, he could transfer a design he made elsewhere to the pottery via paper; a small amount of colored clay would stick to the paper, and would display a faint image of the design. He rightly surmised that if he experimented with various papers, he might eventually come up with materials that would hold on to enough clay to make an art work in itself, without the need to further transfer it to a clay vessel. Each work would be one of a kind: a clay monoprint. A new art form was formed by his groundbreaking insight.
"Viewing Lyons' prints could be compared to viewing the interior walls of an old house being demolished, when layers of paint and wallpaper reveal the stratum of lives lived, lives changed and the elements of time and history."
- Jenine Culligan, Associate Curator for Exhibitions, Delaware Art Museum
Mr. Lyons didn’t hold his new techniques as a secret, but shared his skills and methods with numerous students of all ages via his workshops, often with his wife Meredith nearby to help make sure everyone was able to appreciate their time with Mitch. Students would not only share their artistic successes and failures, but make new friendships.
Mr. Lyons not only developed the form, but maintained his status as the clay monoprint artist. His passing marks a loss to the art community and all who studied with him, but those same individuals move forward with new artistic visions of their own, continuing to add his color to their works.
For more information on Mitch Lyons, including photographs of some of his works, visit:
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