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Artwork by John Alan Nyberg

Artist in Focus

I grew up on a ranch in Utah’s Uintah Basin. As a child, drawing the farm animals was a favorite pastime. And a set of oil paints in the 7th grade, started my artistic journey.

Before painting full time, I worked at many jobs: ranch hand, cowboy, sawmill hand, sign painter, industrial painter, combat engineer, illustrator, casino worker, art instructor, and even gallery director. All of these experiences contributed in some way to the visual and technical skills that inform my modernist collages.

In my studio, I enjoy experimenting with optical push-pull techniques and listening to classic jazz. I work on several paintings at a time. Some are finished after one session, while others take weeks or even years to finish.

Sometimes I go overboard and don’t know when to stop. During one university painting class, the instructor felt the work was finished, but I kept working on it, so he took my brush and threw it out of the window. After class, I had to search for my brush in the thorn bushes.

While cleaning up my studio several years ago, I was pulling up dry paint from the plastic sheeting on the floor and thought some of the paint peels were beautiful and interesting. I started experimenting with these peels which paved the way for my current work.

I’m obsessed with creating patterns with variations of shapes and color combinations. At a juried competition, a juror once remarked that that not one square inch of my painting was boring. That painting won “Best of Show.” My artistic goal and motto ever since has been: “no boring paintings!”

John in Focus



Master of Fine Art - Utah State University, Logan, UT
Bachelor of Fine Art - Utah State University, Logan, UT
Post Graduate Studies, San Francisco Art Academy, San Francisco, CA



“Gala Exhibition” - La Galeria at Boricua College, New York, NY (2019)

“Big Apple Project” - Boyer Foundation, New York, NY (2017)

“National Collage Society Invitational” - Mesa Contemporary Art Center, Mesa, AZ (2013)

“National Collage Society Juried Exhibits” (2011, 2010, 2009)

“Travels In Abstract Lands” - Paula Barr Chelsea, curated by Myriam Rotzetter, New York, NY (2010)

“A Sense of Place” - Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO (2004)

“8th Annual Utah Art Spring Salon” - Springville Art Museum, Springville, UT (2004)

16th, 15th, 14th, 13th & 12th IAOCA Exhibition - International Community House Gallery, Kyoto, Japan (2004-2000)

“Western Small Works” - Sonoma Museum of Visual Art (SMOVA), Santa Rosa, CA (2002) Centro Exposizioni, Pisa Arte, Pisa, Italy (2002)

“12th National Exhibition, Viridian Artists Inc.” - Juror, Anne Lampe, Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2001)

“Abstraction” - Academia D’Arte Di Pisa, Pisa, Italy (1999)
“Brazil 500 Brazil” - Galeria De Vera Ferro, Campinas, Brazil (1999)
“Loose in the Fire” - Queen’s College, Cambridge, & Oxford College, Oxford, England (1998) “Ecole Regionale Des Beaux-Arts” - Cherbourg, France (1997)



“Abstract Art Show”, Marin Independent Journal, [Marin County, CA], September, 2003.
“Small art can have a great impact”, The Press Democrat, [Santa Rosa, CA] September 1, 2002

“Cowboy, Sign Painter Turned Abstract Artist”, Where Las Vegas, May 2002. “Best Las Vegas Public Art Project”, Staff Pick, Las Vegas Review, 2002. Artists of Utah. Gibbs Smith. Salt Lake City, UT ,1999
Collage and Assemblage. Crown Publishers, New York, NY, 1974



Adjunct Art Instructor, Utah State University Extension, Tooele, UT Secondary Art Instructor and Art Curriculum Specialist, Tooele, UT Guest Lecturer, University of Utah/DUCE, Salt Lake City, UT



National Collage Society & Signature Member (Lifetime Nomination)
1st Place Award, Abstract Exhibit - AI&G, Salisbury, MD (2013, 2011, 2010)
National Collage Society Award, Juried Exhibit, Mason Murer Fine Art, Atlanta, GA (2009) Merit Award, Critics Choice Awards, Stage Door Gallery, Cape Charles, VA (2008)
Best in Show, Critics Choice Awards, Stage Door Gallery, Cape Charles, VA (2007)
1st Place, “Diminutive Dimensions”, Art Institute & Gallery, Salisbury, MD (2006) International Artist Award, International Community House, Kyoto, Japan (2002)


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