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K-State Today

September 6, 2011

Thomas Lyon Mills brings the catacombs to K-State

By Emily Vietti

Artist Thomas Lyon Mills has been tapped to present the College of Archtiecture, Planning and Design’s Bryant Lecture. Mills will give the lecture, titled “The Catacombs,” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, in 114 Willard Hall. The lecture, funded in part by the K-State SGA Fine Arts Fee, is free and the public is welcome to attend.


For two decades Mills has painted in the Italian catacombs and numerous European pagan sites. Mills says he is the only non-archaeologist who has been granted the permission to explore and work in the catacombs alone.


“What do I find underground? Miles of tunnels are so silent that I hear my heartbeat. Skeletons embrace one another in tombs; paintings and carvings form mysterious, iconographic hybrids of an emerging language,” Mills writes on his RISD faculty page.


Mills is a professor at the acclaimed Rhode Island School of Design. He is represented by the Luise Ross Gallery in New York, and recently Mills won the 2011 Rhode Island Council on the Arts Fellowship in Painting.


He has exhibited at the Drawing Center in New York, the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Mass., the Boston Athenaeum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.; the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, Ark.; and numerous venues in Europe including the American Academy in Rome and the residence of the U.S. Ambassador in Italy.


Mills has lectured and critiqued at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design; the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Mich.; Parsons School of Design, New York; Auburn University, Ala.; and both Temple University’s and Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute’s programs in Rome.


For any inquiries about the lecture or the speaker, please contact Emily Vietti, communications and events coordinator for the College of Architecture, Planning and Design, at 532-1090 or evietti@k-state.edu.