Short Biography

I was born in Elk City in Western Oklahoma on March 27th, 1953

Living in the "Bible Belt" connected me to a search within philosophy and spirituality that ultimately led me to a powerful influence by Native American Indian art and culture. 

The power of nature was important in the development of my aesthetic during this time in Oklahoma and I gained great respect for "Tornado Alley" and the extreme elements of the Great Plains.

My work has always ranged from representational to abstract and mainly due to the impact of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement I became involved with the social political concerns of fairness versus injustice thru protest art.

I studied at Rose College in Oklahoma City from 1971-73. I learned the craft of stained glass and moved to Dallas Texas in 1974 where I studied with classically trained artist John Ashley Bellamy at his "Moon Mansion" studios in 1976. This experience opened many new doors to a larger world of art. 

1977 brought me to California where I began studying at the San Francisco Art Institute during the height of the "Punk rock" and "New Wave" movements and received my BFA in 1979 and MFA in 1981. This was an active exciting and influential time in Bay Area art history that brought new life and energy to the scene. We were not afraid to attempt extreme approaches to non-traditional and sometimes revolutionary forms of art.

As co-creator of the performance art group "Sonezone" from 1978-84 I was involved in exploring many new forms of expression, not only in painting but in performance art, video, film and experimental music. We performed and exhibited throughout Northern California. In 1985 we gained access to a broadcast quality studio and began working in digital formats as an extension of explorations in physical media.
An endless search for the meaning of life along with a sense of humor, scientific investigation and experimentation keeps me endlessly inspired.

I left California with my family in 2009 and moved to the state of Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Hawaii has brought my current focus onto the patterns and metaphysical manifestations of raw energy in living systems and how they influence us.


AA Rose College Oklahoma City, 1973 
BFA San Francisco Art Institute 1979 Painting and Sculpture
MFA San Francisco Art Institute 1981 Painting and Sculpture

Teaching experience
The Art of Stained and Leaded Glass, El Centro College Fort Worth Texas 1975-'76
Graduate Teaching Assistant San Francisco Art Institute 1980-81
San Francisco State Univ. Creative arts dept. "Multimedia in Art" 1987-'88 

 San Francisco Art Institute Painting Award 1979
 Sony "Visions of US" Video Competition American Film Institute 1983-84
 Political Cartoon Award, Oklahoma Collegiate Press Assoc. 1973
"Young Artist Award" Oklahoma Art Center 1969-71



The Artist



Tom Curtis
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