Born in Yukon, Pennsylvania and raised in New York City, John Regis Tuska (1931-1998) earned his art degrees from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in upstate New York (B.F.A., 1959, M.F.A., 1960). After serving in the Navy, he moved to Kentucky in 1960 to teach ceramics at Murray State University and began teaching at the University of Kentucky in 1963, serving as a professor of art until his retirement in 1994.
He completed four major sculpture commissions-Genesis (1969) and Illumine (1995) at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, Flight of Icarus (1974) at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, and the portrait of Senator John Sherman Cooper (1984) for the Kentucky State Capitol, Frankfort, KY-and he provided a series of drawings for poet Alvin Greenberg’s publication The House of the Would-be Gardener (NY: New Rivers Press, 1972).
Tuska’s work is in several public collections: Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, IN; Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign-Urbana, IL; Palmer Art Museum, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA; Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art, Alfred, NY; and University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, KY.
Tuska art also has been acquired for numerous corporate collections, including Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Elizabethtown, KY, Phillip Morris Corporation, Louisville, KY, and KFC Corporation, Louisville, KY.