Aviation artist Sam Lyons has been named “artist in residence” by Sun ’n Fun Fly-In, Inc.
“We’re very pleased to welcome Sam Lyons to this newly created position of Artist in Residence,” said Chairman Bill Eickhoff. “The position is in the process of being defined and we look forward to how the position – and our relationship with Sam – will evolve in the months and years ahead. Sam Lyons is one of the most recognized names in aviation, as well as in the international art community,” Eickhoff continued. “We are especially pleased that Sam will be sharing his passion for aviation and his incredible talent with us in this capacity.”
Being named Sun ‘n Fun’s Artist in Residence comes at a significant time for Lyons since 2010 marks his 25th year as a professional aviation artist. The “Artist” designation also occurs after another major milestone in Lyons’ career: Being inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame in 2009 – the first artist ever inducted.
When Lyons first heard the idea of being named Artist in Residence, his reaction was instant and enthusiastic. “That’s amazing!” he exclaimed. “I’ve been exhibiting at Sun ‘n Fun for more than 20 years and I’m thrilled and proud to be linked to the organization. The people who make Sun ‘n Fun happen have become friends. It’s so satisfying to know that they admire my talent, but I also feel that I will be a valuable ambassador for promoting the goals of Sun ‘n Fun.”
Born and raised in Atlanta, Lyons credits his father – a B-24 pilot during World War II – with sparking his early interest in aviation.
A graduate of Presbyterian College with a degree in biology, Lyons served for two years as an officer in the U.S. Army. He then began teaching at his alma mater, Woodward Academy (Georgia Military Academy).
A long time interest and expertise in modeling led Lyons into another career as an owner of a hobby shop called Historical Hobbies.
Looking for another challenge, Lyons began to paint. He experimented, searching for a style he could call his own. The result is a detailed and realistic painting style that highlights Lyons’ love of airplanes and flying. His paintings are often mistaken for photographs.
Lyons, who is a pilot, and his wife, Mindy, recently moved to Lakeland.