Richard Wyatt Jr. (American, b. 1955) is best known for his practice, which includes art in public and corporate spaces, drawing, painting, and installations. Wyatt’s work often revolves around themes such as history and culture. He has been a presence in the Los Angeles art scene since he was twelve years-old. His early art education began in the mid-1960’s when his 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Evelyn Freeman, advised his parents to encourage his interest in art. During this period, he studied art at the Watts Towers Art Center and the Studio Watts Workshop. Wyatt also attended the Tutor Art Program (established by the late Bill Tara) which met on Saturdays at the Otis Art Institute. At these Saturday sessions led by artist William Pajaud, Wyatt began studying, drawing and painting with artist and teacher Charles White. In 1978, he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has taught drawing and painting at the University of California, Irvine; the Otis/Parsons Art Institute, Los Angeles; and the Watts Towers Art Center, Los Angeles.
For more than 30 years, Wyatt has actively produced art for public and corporate spaces with more than 30 murals to his credit. Some of his recent public art commissions include: the Robert F. Kennedy Inspiration Park (in collaboration with May Sun) located at the former Ambassador Hotel site on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA; and the “Hollywood Jazz: 1945-1972” mural restoration in ceramic tile at the Capitol Records building in Hollywood, CA. In addition, Wyatt has produced a significant body of smaller scale paintings and drawings that have been regularly exhibited in galleries and museums for more than 30 years—most recently: Black SoCal: Art and Practice in an Evolving Landscape, opening in the 2015 Venice Biennale at the Pallazzo Querini Stampalia in Venice, Italy; Looking Ahead: Portraits from the Mott-Warsh Collection at the Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan; African American Artists in Los Angeles. A Survey Exhibition: Pathways, California African American Museum and Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles in 2009; Visions, Selections from the James T. Dyke Collection of Contemporary Drawings, opening at the Naples Museum of Art, Florida in 2007 and closing at the Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas in 2008; About Face, a solo exhibition at Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles in 2005 and in Representing L.A., a traveling group museum exhibition organized by the Frye Art Museum in Seattle in 2000-02.