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Tom Fox

Mixed media

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San Diego
Mixed media
Artists Statement
Artist Statement
Tom Fox
Tom’s sculptural output refers reverentially to the work a day experience of the blue-collar worker. Tom finds himself teasing out forms and materials surrounding us to bring to the center. These forms and materials are often in plain view, or are contained within the structure of the modern environment we exist in.
His father was an overhead crane operator and his mother a waitress. From these as well as his own working experiences, he speaks with forms familiar to the journey of his work life. His work is an expression of his experiences. Subject matter of his artworks is gleaned from his work as a drywall hanger and finisher, truck driver, manager of a legacy hardware store, lumber yard, and university laboratory working with radioactive materials, among other employment situations. His sculpture highlights the use of vaguely familiar materials and forms not typically associated with artworks.
Although he has created larger installations, the scale of his compositions are generally human torso size, employ mixed media, and often suggest the form of totem or plaque; a presentation of commemoration. The optics of some of his sculpture require movement of the observer. Movement is promoted by interacting with his sculpture; that movement activates the optical sensations in the work surfaces and is an important part of his work. Fox is also concerned with what in the periphery gets our attention, and how memory works to recall those things from our surroundings in alignment with the Badder - Mienhoff phenomena.
Tom has worked in multiple media and the fire arts since the mid 1970’s starting as a studio assistant and artisan in hand built and thrown ceramics. He was naturally drawn to metals through inspiration from his grandmother, June Fagan, a home craft ceramicist and professional welder. He was drawn to glass through exposure to glassblowing practice of one of his mentors at the Fat Baby Hot shop. Inspirators also include family, friends, colleagues, and students with interests in visual art, burn outs, polished chrome, and the smell of nitromethane combined with burnt rubber.
Arriving to academic study later in life, he was a self-taught sculptor until his desire to share his knowledge with others displaced his outsider artist status with a terminal degree in Studio arts. He has been making functional art and art as a conveyance of communication and contemplation for 30 + years.
Fox’s ideal audiences are those who have shared similar experiences that he portrays in his sculpture. He provides in his work layers of visual interest and points of connection for a range of viewers; those familiar with the fine and applied arts as well as those for whom the ideals of the academic art world do not resonate. He makes visual art at the command of his lifelong inevasible impulse to make.
It’s nice to be important, but much more important to be nice.
Tom Fox is a sculptor, educator, and fabricator. He is a materialsmith working in many materials and processes; common and uncommon. Most of his creative output moves in and about the boundaries of fine, applied, and performance art. He has defined his sculptural output as an expression of experiences from his blue-collar work life. Experiences interpreted from the vantagepoint of a sculptor; the researched and the researcher. His intent is to connect with the viewer with vaguely familiar sculptural elements. Resonance with these sculptural elements emerge for the viewer concisely or subconsciously when encountered by the viewer outside of the exhibition space.
Fox was born in Chicago Illinois to an overhead crane operator and a waitress. He showed creative / artistic tendencies as a young boy and they were under development from his earliest academic exposure. Tom moved to San Diego in 1981 and has lived in the city until present, save for a few years in the early 1980’s when he lived in the Houston / Galveston TX area.
Tom earned a B.A in applied design, with an emphasis in metalsmithing from San Diego State University in 2004, and an M.F.A. in studio art with emphasis in sculpture from San Diego State university in 2011.
Tom Fox has developed curriculum for and instructed 3-dimensional design, mold making, patination, ceramics, contemporary crafts and art appreciation in San Diego since 2006 at San Diego State University, Grossmont College, and the San Diego Community College district. He developed sand instructed metal sculpture classes every quarter for 9 years at the UCSD Crafts Center.
He has conducted numerous lectures, presentations and applied workshops concerning mold making, foundry, welding, blacksmithing, and fabrication at multiple commercial and academic sites in San Diego and around the country.
Tom has exhibited his creative work in numerous exhibitions locally and around the United States. Fox has completed commissioned work for many clients including other artists, local museums, commercial and academic sites.
Fox and his wife, Tamara, currently operate TomFox Art & Design and Slaghole Enterprises, a studio and workshop in San Diego CA. He is currently the President of the Western Cast Iron Art Alliance Inc. and has been part of many committee’s instrumental in the planning and execution of many sculpture based educational conferences and events internationally, regionally, and locally since the change of the millennium. Tom views his community service as a celebration through extension.
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San Diego, CA 92112-2107

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