Robert F. Lyon was born in 1952 in Queens, New York. He received a BA degree in Studio Art and from Trenton State College, Trenton, New Jersey. In 1977 he was awarded the MFA degree from the Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He joined the faculty of the School of Art at Louisiana State University in 1978 where he taught ceramics, glass and sculpture. In 1997 he was named Professor and Chair of the Department of Art at the University of South Carolina. In 2002 he rejoined the faculty where he teaches sculpture. Robert Lyon has been the recipient of many awards and grants, which include a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship in sculpture, a Southeastern Artists Fellowship from the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and a Project Grant from the Southeastern College Art Conference. Lyon has been an artist-in-residence at Artpark, Lewiston, New York, Sculpture Space, Inc. in Utica, New York, The Banff Center in Banff, Canada, and the Kohler Company in Kohler, Wisconsin, the 2009 International Turning Exchange, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is an invited participant in the 2012 Emma International Collaboration, and the Echo Lake XIV Collaboration.
He is represented by Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina, and resides in Columbia, South Carolina.