Tom is no longer with us, but his presence will be lasting. He has touched many, many people. He had a long career as the head of the Corning Museum of Glass and was an active member of the community, but he especially touched the painters with whom he generously shared his passion.
West End Gallery is presenting an exhibit of his work, some previously unseen, and a tribute by artists who painted with him. Downstairs will feature his work, and upstairs with show work by over forty artists. The opening is Thursday, October 14 from 5-7:30 p.m.
"Smoke", shown above, will be included in the show. That darn cigar was always present, so I thought it appropriate. In addition, my painting of "Innkeeper's Doorknob" will be shown upstairs as part of the tribute to Tom. He encouraged me to go ahead and paint the filigree detail, which was a challenge for me, and a door can be a metaphor.
10 x 8 Oil
I am grateful I was able to spend time with Tom during the last year. We became friends. Our friendship started when I made his portrait for my In Their Studios photo essay, and then I took a painting workshop with him, which led to him inviting me to paint with him and Lin Gardner on Wednesday afternoons during what turned out to be his last six months.
He would work on his stuff while we worked on ours. Some days when he didn't feel up to painting, he would read while we painted.
What I will really miss about Tom is the opportunity to talk to him about what he thought of things. In turn, I felt like he cared what I thought, which is a gift I will always appreciate. But the more interesting thing to me is that he gave the same gift to hundreds of people. He was very generous.