Mikey Yates paints from images of the past, sharing his memories with the world.
Mikey Yates is in his final year at the University of Colorado Boulder working on a Painting and Drawing MFA. After graduating from Missouri State with a BFA in Art, painting emphasis, he sought out another degree saying “I just wanted more time to paint and make stronger work.” In the past year alone his work has been featured in exhibitions in New York, Ohio, Colorado, and even Colombia, and in the publications BOOOOOOOM, Friend of the Artist, YNGSPC and two editions of the New American Paintings magazine.
Yate’s work is autobiographical and focuses on his personal mythology and stories from his family. His pictures, based on family photos, home videos and imagination, explore cultural identity through a more personal lens. Yates aims to contribute to the dialogue of the Filipino-American experience and to see himself represented in painting. He finds additional inspiration for his work in music, art history, and more, simply lights, shapes and colors.
“I think the painting faculty at MSU is amazing. I still think about the things they’ve taught me.” – Mikey Yates
During his time at Missouri State, Yates loved the work ethic of the other students and staying in the painting studios until the very late evening. He found a mentor in Sean Lyman and credits Sarah Williams for teaching him how to paint, and Duat Vu and former professor Joey Borovicka for teaching him how to draw. With the help of these professors he found confidence and is grateful for their encouragement.
After graduating from his master’s program, Yates will be attending the Elizabeth Murray Residency and will be a fellow at OX-Bow in the Summer of 2021. These programs were set to take place in Summer 2020, but were rescheduled due to COVID-19.
“Be easy on yourself, the process of learning how to paint and draw takes a lot of work and time.” – Mikey Yates
When asked what advice he would give to current Missouri State students, Yates said “Work hard and stay focused, take advantage of your time. Pull all you can out of your teachers.” He wishes he could tell his younger self to “get involved with other artists both in and out of school. Reach out to artists you admire.”