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Gallery Ramblings


An Encounter of the 3D Kind with Kyle Jackson (September 22, 2012) 

Kyle Jackson at the Rocket Science StudioI visited Kyle at his basement Rocket Science Studio, a low security atelier where people and ideas are free to come and go in the pursuit of art propulsion.  Kyle said that his father and grandfather also worked in basements.

Kyle is not actually a folk artist as he has completed studies at NSCAD (Nova Scotia College of Art & Design).  But he does create whimsical pieces, many in 3 dimensions, in the folk art style and he was a co-founder, along with Chris Huntington, of the Lunenburg Folk Art Festival in 1988.  Kyle usually displays at the festival every year.

Early Years

Kyle was born in Toronto and has lived in San Francisco and The Hague. While in The Netherlands, at age 15, he studied photography at the Vrije Academie. In 1974, Andy Warhol had a book signing in Toronto. Kyle bought a Campbell’s soup can and waited in line for Andy to sign it. He was fascinated by this pasty-haired guy sitting at a classy table between two beautiful women and thought, “That's the life for me…I’m going to be an artist.” In 1984, he came to Nova Scotia, studied art, and from 1986 to 2002 was co-owner and operator of the Soho Kitchen from which he displayed and sold a number of his paintings.

Andy Warhol in 1974
Andy Warhol (1974)
Kyle Jackson's signed soup can
Kyle's signed soup can
young Kyle Jackson
Kyle circa 1977

Current Interests

Kyle is active in Nova Scotia’s PAINTS Program (Professional Artists in the Schools). The program has more than 60 artists working in many different media and disciplines. Projects can be with a single class or a small group of students. They provide the participants with a valuable experience in the professional art world. Applications to participate in the program can be filled in through the website. ( Below is the 24-foot fish fence that Kyle constructed and on which the student paintings are attached.

"Handy Halifax" is a recent painting to come out of Kyle's studio. It is 2ftx3ft and 6 inches deep made out of 3/4" Baltic fir plywood and paint. Kyle says, "It is a nod to some of my earlier 3D Halifax paintings, although more refined and considered. I made this painting to take with me to a television audition in which you present something made out of a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood. Most folks will probably arrive with a nice piece of furniture, a chair, night table, etc. Of course, in the attempt to set myself apart from the crowd, I am showing up with a 3-dimensional painting of my town."  Kyle won the audition and will appear as a finalist on "Canada's Handyman Challenge" in January, 2013.  (W Miller)

24 foot fish fence for the PAINTS program
PAINTS project - 24-foot Fish Fence
Kyle Jackson with his Handyman Challenge qualifying entry
Handy Halifax 2012

(Editor’s note) Kyle is filled with unstoppable energy and busy with a multitude of tasks – he reminds me of a quote from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road - “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”

Rocket Science Studio
The entrance to Kyle's subterranean studio is clearly marked.

Lunenburg Waterfront
Lunenburg Waterfront
An Acrylic on wood painting
23h x 32w x 3d (inches)

Peggy of Peggy's Cove
An acrylic on wood painting
20h x 24w x 2d (inches)

Handy Halifax 2012 a 3D painting
Handy Halifax 2012
An acrylic on wood painting
21h x 34w x 4d (inches)