School of Art and Design
College of Performing and Visual Arts
M.F.A., Painting and Drawing, Pratt Institute, NY, New York
B.A., University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado
Tom Stephens leads the Sculpture area. He has a national exhibition record, with work in private and museum collections. He teaches Drawing, Sculpture, and Foundations Studies.
Artist Statement: My work is concerned with the structure of meaning and how it functions within the context of abstraction/representation. Many of the pieces are hybrids combining painted surfaces with constructed panels, using a variety of media.Ideas that inform these works include fragmentation, in the sense of a non linear narrative, allusions to photography, and in interest in the concepts of the internal and external, the seen and the unseen. It has to do with what critic Katy Siegel calls, "seeing in an ambivalent way". The "phenomenon" of our relationship to the physical world continues to intrigue me.I allow for an open-endedness to the interpretation of my work, with materials and imagery generating various possibilities for meaning. The viewer's response therefore is critical to the exchange. The work is more successful for me when there is the demonstration of a state of tension between abstract, formal structure and its subversion with imagery or process. What may seem to be an abstract image is often and interpretation of an idea or image from culture or an event from past or current history. These are some of the things that I consider to be at least part of what informs the work. The doing is still where the real pleasure is the contrast between the measured and the visceral manipulation of materials. I am interested in the dialectic between the image and the object in drawing, painting and sculpture.