Painter & Mentor: Ron Tomlinson, Distinguished Texas Artist

Painter & Mentor: Ron Tomlinson, Distinguished Texas Artist

September 6, 2008 – October 25, 2008

The Distinguished Texas Artist Award was established in 2003 by the Exhibition Advisory Panel of the FWCAC to honor a living artist who has achieved distinction in their art and with their service to the community.

Former students Zachariah Hawkins, Sedrick Huckaby and Amy Jones Oliveira will be exhibiting with Ron Tomlinson.

Ron Tomlinson’s work exists within a liminal space, looking to the future while building on the creations of the past. Born out of an extreme analytical framework that has developed throughout his career, and demonstrated prominently in his decade-long period of chair paintings, Tomlinson’s style is deliberate and intentional, with every brushstroke serving an equal purpose to his composition. His recent work uses a seemingly loose and gestural painting style while remaining grounded in precision and paying homage to the artistic canon. This unique quality, so apparent in Tomlinson’s work, stems from his creative process, which builds upon an abstract approach towards his composition and an expressive exploration of color. As seen in his variation of subject matter, no subject is off limits to Tomlinson’s artistic vision. His paintings, often taken from collage, span a vast technical breadth, oscillating between abstraction, expressionism, and realism to evoke a wide range of emotions in the viewer from existential terror to subtle irony.

Following suit with Tomlinson’s forward-looking aesthetic, he values education as an equally integral part of his life. His talents as an artist parallel his ability to impart his knowledge to his students with the utmost enthusiasm. He goes above and beyond the expectation of an art teacher and imbues his students with a genuine thirst for knowledge and self-development. Tomlinson provides more than just artistic advice to his students, often serving as a mentor and close friend. His worldly knowledge and epicurean wit make him an irreplaceable figure in all of his students’ lives.

A prime example of Tomlinson’s teaching style in action comes from his years as a visiting artist/instructor at Texas Wesleyan University. Three students, who are now accomplished painters in their own right, represent the product of Tomlinson’s influence. Tomlinson feels that his experience with these young painters was equally valuable and educational to him. In this exhibit, these three demonstrate their growth from their study under Tomlinson and into their own aesthetic experiences.

Zachariah Hawkins, a graduate of Boston University, now shares a studio with Tomlinson. He has shown his work in Fort Worth, Dallas, and Boston while developing themes that continue to evolve to this day. His most recent work exhibits influence of abstract expressionism with an environmental commentary.

Amy Jones Oliviera graduated from Texas Wesleyan University and received a graduate degree from Boston University. Her exhibitions include shows in Boston and Fort Worth. Her work takes the form of figurative expressionism and involves her children as subject matter. She currently teaches at Paschal High School in Fort Worth.

Sedrick Huckaby, a recent Guggenheim fellow, received his undergraduate degree from Boston University and graduate degree from Yale. He shows his work mainly in New York City, Boston, and Dallas. His work figuratively addresses his personal experience, family life, and intimate surroundings. He currently teaches at the University of Texas in Arlington.

The four artists now come together for this exhibit to celebrate their collective artistic evolution and personal achievement. Inherent in all of their works is a mutual aesthetic curiosity inspired by Tomlinson’s unique and passionate pedagogy. - James Gorski and Peter More