About Bobbi Kilty

Bobbi Kilty is a painter in encaustic and combined media who retired after 36 years as an Interior Design Educator at two universities. She was born in Tampa, Florida and has been drawing since the age of 5, living as a child in Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and Illinois. As an undergraduate in the Art Department at Northwestern University, she majored first in visual arts and then shifted emphasis to Interior Design to maximize potential in the work place. After completing an M.F.A. degree at UCLA, she began her teaching career at Washington State University. In 1973 she studied Sumie (contemporary Japanese brush painting) at Osaka University, Japan. Courses she has taught include architectural illustration, perspective and mixed media rendering, color theory, barrier free design and even ergonomics. While at Michigan State University, she drew and water colored her way from Ireland to Italy as she led students in the Interior Design Study Abroad program. After serving four years as the MSU Interior Design Program Director, she is now living her dream, to renew and refresh her artistic endeavors.

Early works show a progression from realism to abstraction, primarily in ink and water color. Today she is exploring combined media in acrylic, water color and encaustic painting, an ancient Egyptian painting technique using hot wax and a torch or heat gun. With a torch in one hand and often another tool in the other, her encaustic paintings are created using wax blends, oil stick, and collage elements. “As a designer, I collected natural objects fascinated by their growth, formation patterns and functions. The spiral and radial forms evident in many of my paintings are a response to these patterns.” A strong connection with nature is evident, incorporating figure drawing, portrait painting, live animal representation, and landscape views.

Bobbi’s studio is located in her home in rural Williamston, Michigan where she lives with three beloved Siamese cats in her Japanese style garden. In her free time she competes in Pro-Am ballroom dancing.


 

Personal History

1943
Born in Tampa, Florida, and traveled around until…

1965
Left Chicago on the Santa Fe Super Chief bound for L. A. to study Art

1966
Instructor, Arts and Crafts, Sunset Canyon Recreation Center, summer UCLA

1966–1968
Teaching and Research Assistant, UCLA Department of Art (Color Theory & Landscape Design)

1968–1969
Technical Draftsperson at A. Quincy Jones, FAIA, Jones & Emmons Production Corp. Santa Monica, CA

1969
Graphic Presentation Specialist, Property Research Corp. Westwood, CA

1969–1977
Interior Design Professor at Washington State University

1977–1978
Visual Presentation Specialist, Williamston, MI

1978–1980
Architectural Specialist, Michigan Department of Transportation

1980–2008
Interior Design Professor at Michigan State University

2011-Present: Fine Artist, Bobbi Kilty Gallery

Professional Society Membership

1973–2008
Interior Design Educators Council, Regional & Visual Communications Chair

2011–2018
Mid Michigan Art Guild

2012–2014
Great Lakes Pastel Society, Grand Rapids, MI

2013–2018
Arts Council of Greater Lansing

2014–2018
International Society of Experimental Artists


Education

1961-1965
Bachelor of Arts Degree, Northwestern University

1965-1969
Master of Fine Arts Degree, UCLA

1973:  Studied Sumie painting at University of Osaka, Japan