Joanna Tyka knew early that art would always be part of her life. At age 6 she won a children's art competition and felt her first real reward from painting. While aiming to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, she grew to love music and sports as well as art. She attended the Warsaw Philharmonic regularly as a child and developed a solid understanding of classical music, which later became a strong theme of her paintings. Skiing, tennis, flying ,golf, and sailing (she is a past national champion of Poland in small boats) built a drive to compete and achieve that serves her well as she forges an artistic career in one country after another.
She graduated with honors from the Academy of Fine Arts and had a show at the Zacheta Museum, one of the most prestigious art institutions in Poland. The path of emigration had taken her family to Canada and to France; Joanna Tyka went to Germany and settled in Hamburg, where her passion for sailing could thrive. She worked in design — on graphics, fashion and tapestry — and as a sailing correspondent. Always, too, she painted. She lived for a while in Mallorca, Spain. In Germany she won many art awards, including the Altona Prize in Hamburg, and her work was exhibited in museum shows. Yet she was looking for new inspiration, and she moved to Miami.
Tropical colors and flora now influence Tyka's painting. Some critics have identified a “Tyka style” in her startling coloring and dynamism and whimsical portrayals of life in south Florida. Themes from Latin America and the Caribbean abound on her canvas.
The Tyka style has allowed her to create strong relationships with fine art societies and galleries in the United States and Europe. She has had many commissions, especially from the world of music. The Princeton Boys Choir and the Philadelphia Boys Choir have Tyka paintings hanging in their offices. Her special design for the University of Miami School of Music hangs at Gusman Hall on the campus. She did stage design for concerts and music festivals. The Florida International University Music Festival has used Tyka art during its concerts. The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany and Festival Miami of the University of Miami School of Music have shown Tyka art. She created many covers for the Playbill magazine for the Florida Philharmonic and a posters for a new seasons. Her paintings have been exhibited under auspices of the Miami City Ballet.
Her works have been shown in ART Expo in New York and Los Angeles. She was involved in creating a large mural for “El Día de los Muertos” in Los Angeles; also there she created works for a benefit for the Starlight Foundation for sick children. Furniture design is yet another aspect of her work, and her musical chair has been shown in many concert series and at the Sofa annual art expo in Chicago. She has won prizes at the Coral Gables Art Competition several times. Norwegian Cruise Lines has auctioned her paintings and used them as décor on their ships.
The Tyka Puppet Production, with stage and theater of her own design, has been shown in connection with Barnes and Noble's children's shows, at the Highlands Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina, the Harid Conservatory Summer Series in Boca Raton, and in connection with the Greater Miami Opera at Vizcaya.
Tyka Landscape Richmond and Virgina Series of 2010-2015 has been purchased for the permanent collection of the Senate of Virginia, Dominion Resources, many local Richmond-area companies, and UVA Health System in Charlottesville. In 2016, Tyka created a music banner for the orchestra backdrop of the Wintergreen Music Festival in Virginia, and she won first prize in the www.buyRVAart.com juried competition/painting category.
Tyka has shared her love of art by teaching. In Germany she taught art classes at the Anthroposofic Institute of Rudolf Steiner and at Volks Schools. In Miami she taught at Miami Dade College, the Jewish Community Center, and Coral Gables Community Center, and in Richmond at the Visual Arts Center. She has studied also at the Gemological Institute of America in Santa Monica, California.