Artist Statement


Artist Statement


Tommy White, born in Detroit, received his M.F.A. from Clemson University in the discipline of painting and a B.A. from Michigan State University in ceramics. His work is included in many private collections as well as the permanent collections of the Mobile Museum of Art in Alabama, Crayola Corporation, and Capital One Corporation. He has exhibited in over twenty states, the District of Columbia, Melbourne, Australia, and Seoul, South Korea. After working in higher education for nearly two decades, Tommy recently refocused his attention to his professional practice and enjoys working in his new studio located in Denver, Colorado.

    While it is impossible to remove myself from previous explorations regarding the practice of painting, my most recent works are directly linked to some of my earliest attempts. In the summer of 2007, my mother presented me with a file containing several of my old drawings. These pictures, created between the ages of four and five, were mostly drawn on construction paper with crayons and ballpoint pens. This childhood packet has acted as a catalyst in the studio informing line, shape, and palette. 

    Today, I get great pleasure from "working" in the studio and the notion of play is systemic. Yet, much of my practice wrestles with formal visual language. This is ultimately the toughest part of the art making process and coming up with unique solutions is what keeps me driven. In spite of this, I treat composition more like a puzzle than a problem. Additionally, the meaning behind any given piece is rarely known prior to its conception.  My personal connection to any particular painting presents itself through associations of imagery and memory, an optimistic dialogue during the creative process. And from this, content is gathered through experiences of semiotic drift relating to environments of my past and contingent world.           

Image Top Left

Conversation isn’t Combat

2010, acrylic on panel

40” x 60”