The Story of Kyra Coates
Kyra Coates has painted since her fingers were big enough to grip a paintbrush. She was trained throughout her youth and went on to study at the Corcoran School of Art and the Maryland Institute, College of Art. She began showing her work professionally in 2001 with great success. However, at that time she felt discouraged by the lack of service to the greater good in the art world. Besides occasional charity events there never seemed to be a way these components came together, and much of Kyra's art and life's calling was driven by this desire for service. So in 2005 she took a hiatus from the art world and went to live as a nun and dive into humanitarian service. After three years of monastic life she continued her studies at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, where she combined Religious Studies and Psychology to understand the Psychology of Enlightenment in various religious traditions around the world.
She returned to the art world professionally in 2014 and combines her passion for social justice with her art. She donates percentages of her sales to multiple women’s empowerment nonprofits. Kyra has also exhibited in multiple gallery shows, publications, juried exhibitions, and has participated as a juror in art shows.
Kyra paints from her own experience of moving from early trauma in life into empowered womanhood. Her story has been an all too common one of sexual abuse and rape in childhood, into awkward early adulthood, shame, denial, and finally realization, empowerment, and freedom to embrace her feminine power and sexuality. After a profound spiritual awakening her early twenties, Kyra became a Hindu nun and lived a disciplined monastic life for three years. When she left her robes behind she dove into sexual awakening, motherhood, and embracing her feminine strength. Kyra’s eastern spiritual perspective and years of psychological study is reflected in her artwork. She depicts psychologically emotional experiences as archetypal goddess figures. She often paints figures as faceless and non race-defined to represent a more universal emotive expression. Her paintings explode onto the canvas and inspire that sense of empowerment and freedom in the viewer as an experience of emotional resonance.