Cafe Art by Kyle Highsmith
February 5, 2018
Irregardless’ ambiance is infused by the expressive paintings of noted NC artist Kyle Highsmith, which are on permanent display on the Cafe’s dining room walls. The vibrant paintings capture local landmarks, such as the piers and fishing boats on NC’s coast – intensifying familiar images and engaging viewers.
Recently quoted by The Walter Magazine, Kyle and Irregardless’ owner Arthur Gordon have a special relationship that spans decades. With his wife Gerry, the Highsmiths have been regular diners at the Cafe almost since the Cafe opened!
The Walter quotes Kyle that dining regularly for decades has “turned into a wonderful friendship…the restaurant is a very unique place to eat, for the food, for the atmosphere and for a very special kind of charm.”
Highsmith’s paintings are well known to Raleigh audiences, and are much loved for their vibrant and tropical color. Highsmith paints on location and frequently travels to picturesque local spots and sites like Paris and the South of France, the North Carolina coast and Key West. His oil paintings feature daily life with architecture prominently featured in many of his paintings. This feature is a reminder of the Kyle’s original academic training in architecture and his love of forms and light reflecting from the shapes we see in daylight.
On the back wall of the Irregardless Cafe is what Kyle calls an ‘icon painting’ prepared for the 25th anniversary of the Cafe in 2000. Based on his daily conversations with Arthur on spirituality and the Old Testament, the painting is Kyle’s version of Michael Angelo’s Sistine Chapel painting of the creation of Adam – the first man. Called the “Holy Mackerel” for the little fish that keeps the painting from being ‘X rated”.
Highsmith’s paintings are in the collections of untold numbers of private collectors around the world, and in the collections of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Duke University Medial Center, Progress Energy and many other corporate headquarters throughout North Carolina, as well as numerous banks and college campuses around the state. Highsmith’s work has been honored with a great variety of awards and honors over the years.
A long-time Raleigh artist, Highsmith has recently moved his studio from Artspace to a new studio building behind his home in Cameron Park, Raleigh.
1910 Park Drive
Raleigh, NC 27605
Studio 919-821-3098, mobile 919-906-5070