Born Richmond, BC, Canada
1972 Langara University, formerly Lanagara College, Visual Arts Program, Vancouver, BC
1976 – 79 Assigned 3 year contract to design and create a collection of original jade sculptures which transitioned independant study period in preparation to launch first one man showing. Vancouver, BC
1971 European self study tour of master painters and sculptors, France, Spain, Italy
2015 Presentation gift, 20th Anniversary of Sister Province Relations, British Columbia Ministry International Trade, Guangdong Province, China
2015 Jade Buddha Statue Head, VIP Private Collection, San Diego, CA
2010 Jade Sri Chakra/ Icon ,India Cultural Centre & Temple, Memphis, TN
2008 Dept.of Music Permanent Public Exhibition, University of North Texas, Dallas, TX
2003 Largest Jade Buddha created in North America, Private Collection, Palm Springs, CA
2000 Commemorative stamp design collaboration for 2001 Chinese New Year, Canada Post Corporation, Vancouver, BC, original sculpted design permanent exhibit, Canadian Mint, Ottawa, Ont.
1992 World’s largest Jade Buddha, appointed as Sculpting Advisor,Temple in Bangkok, Thailand
2016 National Bank Financial, Chef Olympics Event, Vancouver, Canada
2016 Hawaii Public Radio interview podcast, Lahaina, Maui, HI
2015 LIVERight Gala, Canadian Liver Foundation, donation of sculpture customized for this Event Vancouver, BC
2014 Exhibition of Bespoke sculpture collection World Jade Symposium, Robson Centre, Vancouver, BC
2014 Ismaili Community Event Fundraiser, Stittgen Jewelers West Vancouver, jewelry donation for private auction for the North Shore Hospice Foundation.
2014 Celebrity guest, BC Jade Day Inaugural Event, Parliament Building, Victoria, BC
2013 Celebrity guest artist and keynote speaker, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids, MI
2013 Silent Auction Donation of original multimedia piece, York House School, Vancouver, BC
2009 Canuck Place Community Celebration Fundraiser Sculpture Donation, Vancouver, BC
2001 “Jade, the Ultimate Treasure of Ancient China”, Vancouver Museum, Vancouver, BC
1988 Canada Corporate Art Conference, Toronto, ON
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL EVENTS
2014 Invited guest artist, Faberge Symposium, St. Petersburg, Russia
2014 Hermitage Museum Private Tour, St. Petersburg, Russia
2013 Attendee, Private Art Vault Presentation, Bank of Beijing, China
2013 Gift presentation of hard cover book to Oprah Winfrey on behalf of the Mayor of Montreal, Montreal, QC
2012 Honorary guest, German Gemstone Museum, Idar-Oberstein, Germany
2012 Guest Artist, National Travel & Life Magazine Reception Event, Vancouver, BC
1987 Exhibition of jade sculpture for the Common Wealth Imperial Conference, Vancouver, BC
1986 Artist Jade Sculpture Exhibition, Expo 86 World’s Fair, Vancouver, B.C.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2016 Creations Gallery, Victoria, BC
2016 Art of Aloha Event – Lahaina Gallery, Wailea, Maui, HI
2015 Lahaina Gallery, Healdsburg, CA
2014 Creations Gallery, Napa Valley, CA
2014 – 16 “Art of Aloha” Lahaina Gallery, Maui, HI
2014 – 16 Lahaina Gallery, Newport Beach, CA
2013 Creations Gallery, Rosewood CordeValle Luxury Golf and Spa Resort, San Jose, CA
2013 Lahaina Gallery, Healdsburg, CA
2013 Lahaina Gallery, Newport Beach, CA
2013 – 15 Lahaina Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2012 Creations Gallery, Chicago, IL
2012 – 16 Creations Gallery, Victoria, BC
2012 “Art of Aloha” Lahaina Gallery, Maui, HI
2012 Lahaina Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2010 Lahaina Gallery, Healdsburg, CA
2010 Olympic 2010 Collection, Izzard Gallery, West Vancouver, BC
2009 Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York, NY
2008 “Art of Aloha” Lahaina Gallery, Maui, HI
2007 Lahaina Gallery, Healdsburg, CA
2007 – 08 Lahaina Gallery, Newport Beach, CA
2007 – 08 Lahaina Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2006 – 10 Lahaina Gallery, Bend, OR
2005 Lahaina Gallery, Healdsburg, CA
2005 Lahaina Gallery, Newport Beach, CA
2004 – 10 Creations Gallery, Victoria, BC
2003 Art of Man Gallery, Victoria, BC
2002 North Shore Arts Council, North Vancouver, BC
2001 Sopel Fine Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1998 New York Art Exposition, New York, NY
1995 Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show, Vancouver, BC
1993 Sagebrush Gallery, San Sable Island, FL
1991 Lahaina Gallery, Maui, HI
1987 Southland Museum, Invercargill, NZ
1986 Expo ’86 Exhibition, Canada Pavilion, Vancouver, BC
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2012 Terminal City Club, Vancouver BC
2010 Creations Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
2003 Canada House Gallery, Banff, AB
2003 Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
2000 Tilting at Windmills Gallery, Bonita Springs, FL
1994 – 99 Whistler Village Art Gallery, Whistler Resort, BC
1992 – 98 Brousseau & Brousseau, Quebec City, QC
1991 – 99 Art of Man Gallery, Lake Louise, AB & Victoria, BC
2010 Board of Trustees of the India Cultural Centre and Temple, Celebrity Artist in Residence, creation of the Sri Chakra and Ganeshas fund raising statues, Memphis,TN.
2013 Jury Grand Prize Winner, Ferris State University International Art, Grand Rapids, MI
2002 International Art Symposium, “Celebrity Guest Artist of the Year”, Huntington Beach, CA
2001 Fund for the Arts on the North Shore (FANS) Honouree Award – North Vancouver, BC
1976 Victor Scott Award for Visual Arts, Richmond, B.C. Langara College Scholarship Arts Award, Vancouver, B.C.
SELECTED MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS
Gem Artists of North America (GANA)
Kreative Finds, Vancouver, BC
North American Artist Professional League
Sculptors Society of British Columbia
World Wildlife Association
Pacific Whale Foundation
Siddha Yoga Organization
Alliance for Arts and Culture for B.C.
SELECTED CORPORATE COLLECTIONS
|· BC Ministry of Tourism|
· CIBC World Markets
· Fortis BC
· Grosvenor Americas
· IBM Corp.
· The Jim Pattison Group
|· Ledingham McAllister|
· Mining Association of BC
· Nikken of Japan
· ProCura Real Estate Services Ltd.
· Royal Bank of Canada
· Swiss Bank Corporation
· Teck Resources Ltd.
· Vancouver Board of Trade
Mackie, Janine. Taste of Life Magazine: “Soul Sculptor”. Toronto October 2016, pp 44 – 51
Alluring Presence, by Dr. Ross King, Pablo Mandel, Colette Gauthier, and Lyle Sopel, Vancouver, BC, 2012.
Art Affairs, “Lyle Sopel Creates Life Size Jade Buddha”, Winter/Spring, 2002
Wildlife Art, “Habitat” May/June 2002
Rogers Community Channel – News Magazine Segment, November 2, 2000
Art & Antiques, Summer 2000 “Travelling Collector”, pp 134 – 143
Naples Illustrated, Winter 2000, “Art Scene” p 56
Wildlife Art July/August 2000 Vol XIX No. 4 “View Point” pp 70 – 73
Inform Art Fall 2000 “Wildlife in Bronze & Gem Stones” pp 70 – 73
Arts Alive, September/October Vol. 7, No. 4
BDC Newsletter, “Success Stories”, Fall 2001
Art Business News, September 1999
CBC TV – French Courants du Pacifique, January 1999
America West Airlines Magazine, August 1998
Modern Jeweller, “Canada Jade”, April 1998
Equinox Magazine, “The Mystical Mineral”, October 1996
BCTV – Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show, May 1995
Wild Life Art, “A Patron of the Arts”, November/December 1995
Lapidary Journal, “Role Reversal”, July 1995
West Vancouver Lifestyle Magazine, Cover Story, July 1992
CBC Radio – Interview with Arts Report, December 1992
North Shore Today Newspaper, May 1992
North Shore News, December 1992
Vancouver Sun, December 1992
Jade, consulting editor Roger Keverne, U.K: Anness Publishing Ltd., U.S.: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991
BCTV – Afternoon Show, December 1988
National Geographic, “Jade Stone of Heaven”, Article and photographs by Fred Ward
New York Times, “Best Places to Visit in Vancouver”, 1987
Globe & Mail Newspaper, April 1983
CHEK TV – Nicole Pardon Interview November 1983
Vancouver Herald, April 1981
Vancouver Western News, March 1981
Western People Magazine, January 1981
Jewellers Circular, “All About the Jade Turn On”, May 1977
Vancouver Sun Weekend Magazine, July 1973
1989 to present: Has attended numerous workshops globally with the focus of developing an understanding of the mind and humanities, expanded consciousness, eastern philosophy, and quantum physics. Self taught with the implementation and repair of technical equipment required to work with gemstones that require diamond tipped saws and grindstones.
For Buddhist and Hindu Communities: Lyle’s quiet yet powerful demeanor appeals to leaders who are are seeking an artist who is both intuitive and sensitive to their needs and is highly accomplished in their medium.
International Fine Art Events
From 2003 to present – Lyle has designed and created a bespoke collection of original jade and gemstone works for international events. Acting as a Canadian artist ambassador, Lyle has been invited and has attended over 70 of these events.
3 SIGNIFICANT PROJECTS DETAILS ( as listed under Notable Commissions )
In 2010, Lyle was called upon to partake in a cultural project for the Hindu community that was both iconic and metaphysical in nature. There are only seven gemstone Shri Chakra pyramid shaped objects installed in various auspicious locations around the world today. These icons have a rich history, dating as far back as four thousand years ago. Early in 2010, Karunamayi Bhagavathi Sri Sri Sri Vijayeswari Devi, a renowned spiritual leader approached Lyle about this commission. It was quite complex – Lyle reports this as his most challenging project to date, the design and execution of a one foot cubed object that involved exact measurement and dimensions as illustrated on a drawn out blue-print by Lyle. The design was of a perfectly alligned, mathematically correct pyramid that when viewed from the top down formed a perfect star shaped lotus. The difficulty in this project involved creating precise angles and shapes to emulate the highest calibrating energy possible. One small error of calculation would result in the project being rendered ineffective. The initial designing process involved hours of research to acquire the special method of arriving at the precise mathmatical formula for doing the prelimanary renderings. After many months of rigorous attention to every minut detail to the pyramid shape the project was completed. In celebration of the icon inauguration a traditional East Indian ceremony was held. This involved an installation ritual process of over three days.The Shri Chakra is permanently seated in the inner sanctum of the temple in Memphis,TN. The goal of adding another – the eighth Shri Chakra to the planet’s vibratory resonance of peace was reached quietly and humbly, without media or outside fanfare. It was materialized by an artist who could appreciate the etheric value this icon jade object held; and with his devotion and craftsmanship was able to create this auspicious object with simplicity, beauty and practicality.
Designing A Customized Buddha
In 2001, Lyle accepted a commission to design his own interpertation of a Buddha. It is the largest jade Buddha to be created in North America. This sitting Buddha was life sized and was seated on a bronze lotus leaf base.
The project took over 3 years, and was innaugrated and blessed by a group of Monks in the beginning phase. This Buddha was created for VIP Collector’s, who at the time held large fund raising events at their private residence in Palm Springs, California.
In 1990 Lyle was summoned by a head monk in Thailand to work as an advisor on the world’s largest jade Buddha for a prominent temple located outside of Bangkok. The head monk had searched the globe for artists who had the special knowledge required to undertake this complex task. Lyle travelled to Thailand and led the team of international artists until the project’s completion in 1991.
Lyle is considered an expert in the area of qualifying rough jade boulders and assessing their grade quality, particularly within the Chinese and Canadian Chinese communities.
Hand-held Electrical Equipment – Extended knowledge about the mechanics of differant scaled saws for cutting into the nterior of the stones. Ranging in scale from 7-8 feet to 1 foot.
Various Grind Stones – Applying the skill-set involved in holding an over 50 lb of rough jade and applying enough pressure to shape the stone. While alternating between hand powered tools and stationary electric wheels.
Sanding – Awareness and skill to work with various diamond crusted sanding belts to acheive the desired smoothness. Implementation and repair of machine powered tools.
Polishing – Proficient skill to ensure stone is not burned in the process. Invented a new compound that when applied brings out the pureness of the colour.
Design Execution – Involves preliminary or advanced drawing application and creating an armatueur to build a clay model. Instilling a renaissance-like standard to his studio, Lyle prefers all designs to be created by hand.
Photography and Videography – A strong background in these two disciplines. Years of upgrading knowledge and practical applications, due to the challenging nature of photographing theses gemstones.
Cataloguing – Has catalogued over 7,000 bespoke sculptures. A vast majority of which have been photographed. Each one is hand signed, numbered; every piece that he’s ever created has been recorded.
Sculpture Theory – The study of space, mass, void, form and balance applied to sculpture carving and composition.
Art Entrepreneurship – Process of creating and sustaining an active studio practice and sculpting own niche into a thriving international fine art market.
Basic Animal and Human Anatomy – Self taught as well as taking occasional workshops that focus on animal anatomy and drawing skills.
Minerology and Geography – To accomplish the skills required to master jade and other gemstones both
semi-precious and precious Lyle has had to study the matrix and complexities of minerals that exist within
each of his rough materials. Keeping to his goal of becoming an expert in sculpting jade, he has studied
the special qualities of this stone and has also flown into remote jade mines to excavate the sites.
Natural World and Wildlife – Reading the National Geographic Magazine since he was a child, Lyle had always
been an avid naturalist and advocate for preserving natural environments. Through his nature inspired sculpture of over 35 differant types and species of animals in his practice he is a dedicated student on this subject.
Public Speaking – Through years of speaking about his practise and his passion for the arts, Lyle has garnered a reputation for being an effective and charismatic speaker at art community and gallery events.
Master Teacher – Trained and influenced over 20 studio apprentices and assistants in Lyle’s unique design style and craftsmanship since 1979 to present. Many of which have adopted these designs concepts to further expand their own practise. Though China is the most competitive jade sculpting country in world, Lyle’s reputation for excellence in the jade medium is acknowledged by some of the most revered sculptors in China.
Jade Sculptor – Global Presence
In Europe, a select group of artisans whose work is juried for exhibition at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia are familiar with Lyle’s work. These Russian and German artisans are inspired not just by his innovative approach to his subject matter but primarily by the scale in which his signature pieces are executed in.
In Canada, Lyle has been acknowledged by the late Chief Dan George’s son, Leonard George of Tsleil-Waututh Nation as being given permission from the elders to adapt first nation’s design interpretations.
Lyle is an avid out of door recreationist, who studies and applies bodybuilding to keep up with the physical demands of muscling around rough blocks of stones sometimes as heavy as 50lbs, reading about various visual and performance arts, science, quantum physics, personal development, and nature. Enjoys mountain biking, hiking, animation, fantasy, science fiction, humor and activities that involve light heartedness and joy. Lyle has taken up pursuits such as sky diving, and swimming with the whales while sailing on a Whale Foundation Vessel in Maui. He thrives in the company of illuminaries and creatives.
Especially enjoys travelling to different continents collaborating with other like minded artists and sharing ideas and insights, enjoys seeking out new experiences, visiting national museums around the globe, attending fine art events that feature upcoming artists as well as the traditional masters.
Lyle has been married to his beloved wife and muse for over 35 years and has raised a prodigy son who excels in the visual, digital arts and music disciplines.