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Artist Bio: Tom Gormally

Sculpture, Drawings, and Prints by Tom Gormally

On view now through May 30, 2022 in the North Gallery.

Observing this new era of divisiveness in American society, Gormally created a body of work that would inspire dialogue and help bridge the gap in our culture but also within his own family. In these works, he combines the shamanistic aspect of effigy representation with folk-like carvings, fabrications, and inviting light elements to create widely accessible pieces representing apt idioms for the moment. Wordplay and metaphor are central to the construction of his pieces, which are often humorous.

Tom Gormally

Tom Gormally has worked for over 45 years as a sculptor. During the Vietnam War era, he was a Navy jet mechanic before being medically retired as a disabled veteran. His experience as both a serviceman and a protestor during an unjust war has continued to inspire his work. His time working on aircraft informed his appreciation of structure, scale, and the use of tools.

In 2021, the Blanden Memorial Art Museum (IA) commissioned Gormally to create a permanent public sculpture. The artist worked on this sculpture while doing a Public Art Incubator Artist in Residence at the University of Northern Iowa Sculpture Department (IA). Bettie and the Howling Fox will be installed in front of the Blanden Memorial Art Museum in 2022. Maquettes of Bettie and the Howling Fox are included in Gormally’s 2022 exhibition at the San Juan Island Museum of Art.

Gormally has exhibited at the University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art (IA), The Nelson-Atkins Museum (MO), Katonah Museum (NY), Ulrich Museum (KS), the Des Moines Art Center (IA), Heidi Cho Gallery (NY), Blanden Memorial Art Museum, and numerous additional museums and art centers.

Gormally has created site-specific sculptures in Seattle and Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the Horsehead International Outdoor Sculpture Exhibitions. He has exhibited large-scale sculptures at the Bellwether National Sculpture Exhibition (Bellevue, WA) in 2012 and 2014.

Gormally’s press includes reviews in Sculpture Magazine, The New Art Examiner, BBC TV, and BBC radio. Awards include a 1985 National Endowment for the Arts/MAAA award for sculpture, a 2015 Artist Trust Fellowship, a 2019 Allied Arts Foundation Artist Award, and a 2019 Civita Institute Drexler Diversity Fellowship.

Tom Gormally's IN THE BREACH is on view at SJIMA through May 30.

The artist’s work is in the Seattle City Light Civic Art Collection, the SAFECO Collection, the Chemical Bank of New York, the Blanden Art Museum Collection (IA), the UNI Permanent Art Collection (IA), and numerous private collections.

Gormally attended California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC) and, later, obtained his BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and his MFA from Wichita State University.



Brought to you by - The Honeywell Charitable Fund, Town of Friday Harbor, Orcas Island Community Foundation, Browne’s Home Center, Anonymous, Printonyx and Harbor Rentals.

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