Abbreviated vita

Cynthia M. Kukla, Artist, Member of Watercolor Honor Society of America                                            

Ms. Kukla, a Chicago native, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Her first teaching job was at Northern Kentucky University where her first sabbatical took her to Geneva, Switzerland in 1991 as a visiting artist. At Illinois State University, her 1999-2000 sabbatical took her to Miami University, Ohio as a visiting professor. In 2004, she was a keynote speaker for a three-day symposium for the exhibition “Coming of Age in Ancient Greece,” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio.  The highlight of her 2006-07 sabbatical was a visiting professorship at Aristotle Thessaloniki University, Greece, one of the largest universities in Europe with 95,000 students.  In Greece she completed over 110 watercolors at three solo weeklong trips to sites at Delphi/Dion/ Athens, at sites and museums in Crete and in museums in Istanbul.

Cynthia exhibited her paintings, watercolors, works on paper and sculptures on three continents in over fifty solo shows and over two hundred fifty curated or group exhibitions. In 2006, Cynthia was inducted into the Watercolor Honor Society (USA), was in two Watercolor Honor Society (WHS) shows in 2008:  at the Fallbrook Art Center, California and Springfield Art Museum, Missouri and had two paintings in the prestigious Watercolor USA 2008 at the Springfield Art Museum. In 2010, her work travels to Japan for a WHS exhibition.

In October 2008, she chaired a panel, Classical Practical in the Digital Age for the Mid-America Print Council annual conference. This evolved from a special 2005 ISU Graduate Office International Travel Grant to speak on the Enlightenment aesthetic at a five-day international printmaking conference “Impact~ Kontakt” in Berlin, Germany and Poznan, Poland. (While in Berlin, she had special permission to spend two days drawing the acclaimed Queen Nefertit statue at the Altes Museum.) She spoke at the Impact Conference in 2007 in Tallinn, Estonia with a paper continuing her theme of examining Enlightenment aesthetics:  Classical Practices:  Are Artists Still Embracing Them? funded by Dean’s and Graduate Office Travel Grants. 

She returns to Tallinn in 2009, invited to exhibit in the acclaimed Tallinn Drawing Triennial. She will teach a Master Class in drawing during the Triennial’s Drawing Marathon.  Annually, from 2004-2008, her work was featured in an exhibition at the Vivarosi Gallery, Budapest, Hungary, following a 2003 research residency at the Hungarian Multicultural Center in Balatonfured, Hungary.  Previous residencies supported by grants include:  Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont, Millay Colony, Austerlitz, New York, founded by poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Studios Midwest, Galesburg, 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.  She was invited to create five paintings to represent each of five major galleries for the museum inauguration in 2002. Kukla created a research website, "Lost Art” from University grants; it was featured at the 2001 College Art Association annual conference.