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About the Artist

Cynthia M. Kukla, Artist


Cynthia Kukla, a Chicago native, received her BFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, under Ray Yoshida, and MFA in Painting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Cynthia exhibits in curated museum exhibits since graduate school: her paintings, watercolors, works on paper and sculptures on four continents in over fifty solo shows and over two hundred fifty curated or group exhibitions. She received her first tenured appointment at Northern Kentucky University. Her first sabbatical was a visiting artist in Geneva, Switzerland. “Objects without Prejudice’ Series was created there followed by the ‘Great Queen’ Series including 18 foot triptychs and bronze sculptures made at the University of Cincinnati for ‘Thrones for a Great Queen.’ At Illinois State University, her first sabbatical was at Miami University, Ohio. At her Cincinnati studio, she completed 230 paintings and 13 sketchbooks leading to numerous exhibitions. In 2004, she was a keynote speaker for the symposium for the exhibition “Coming of Age in Ancient Greece,” at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

A Greek odyssey followed: a visiting professorship for her 2006-07 sabbatical at Aristotle Thessaloniki University, Greece, one of the largest universities in Europe. In two months in Greece, she completed over 110 watercolors at three solo weeklong trips to sites at Delphi, Dion and Athens, at sites and museums in Crete and in museums in Istanbul. She returned to 


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Greece in 2014 and 2015 for more extensive painting trips and visiting professorship at Aristotle Thessaloniki University, painting at archeological sites throughout Greece and Crete. Solo exhibits based on this work :2016, 2017 and upcoming 2019.

In 2006, she was inducted into the Watercolor Honor Society. International exhibits include Japan in 2010, and Viet Nam in 2011. She made a special painting of the Thai Emerald Buddha for Viet Nam. In 2012, she was one of four artists invited for the yearlong “No Greater Gods” exhibition at the University of Virginia. In 2015, she was invited to “Silk Roads Festival Exhibition at the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, China.


Cynthia spoke at numerous international conferences: the Enlightenment aesthetic panel at “Impact~ Kontakt” in Berlin, Germany and Poznan, Poland, 2005. While in Berlin, she had special permission for two days drawing the acclaimed Queen Nefertiti statue at the Altes Museum. She spoke at Impact in 2007 in Tallinn, Estonia on Enlightenment aesthetics:  Classical Practices:  Are Artists Still Embracing Them?


In 2009, she was invited to exhibit in the acclaimed Tallinn Drawing Triennial, Mana Propria, and teach a Master Class at the Triennial’s Drawing Marathon at the Art Academy in Tallinn. In 2010, she was invited to teach a faculty workshop at Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand, again in 2011, along with teaching Western painting and watercolors, painting at ancient sites on weekends at Panomrung, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya and Wat Arun and in temples in Bangkok during her two-month invitation.


Art residencies supported by grants include: Balatonfured, Hungary, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center at Sweetbriar, Millay Colony, New York, and Studios Midwest, Illinois.  Other research grants took her to Poland, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland and Taiwan. Her commissions include the Spurlock Museum of World Culture, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2002.  She was invited to create five paintings to represent each of five major cultural galleries for the museum inauguration.

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