Thom Wright has combined his passions for art and engineering, and his two practices benefited from each other. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he joined the U. S. Navy after high school and then returned home to go to college. After graduating in 1970 with a BA and MA in mathematics from UCLA and CSULA, he began a successful, 32 year career in aerospace. While working in advanced space systems and technologies development, he began taking art and art history courses at night at local community colleges. He began selling art and successfully entering competitive art shows in 1978.
His art interest initially centered in abstract landscape and figurative painting, influenced both by 20th century European modernists and American expressionists. Beginning in 1986, his subject matter moved toward contemporary issues, including technology, geopolitics, and the global environment. His abstract painting style also migrated towards inclusion of industrial materials, found objects and mixed media, which reflect influences of his technical background. These issues and processes continue in his art work.
Desiring to improve his skills, theory and knowledge in art, he took early retirement from the Boeing Corp. in 1999 and entered art school full time. In May, 2006, he completed the MFA program in Drawing and Painting at California State University, Long Beach.
“Round the Clock”, Monoprint, Oil-based ink on BFK Rives paper, 18″ x 24″, Thom Wright
Three monoprints by Thom Wright have been accepted to the “Art Start” Exhibition at OCCCA. This show will have 100 artists selected nationally and runs November 5 to December 9. The opening reception is Saturday, Nov 5, 6 – 9 pm. All works in the show must be priced below $250 to provide more affordable art to the general public. Entry to the show was made free by OCCCA to encourage artists to participate. OCCCA is located in Santa Ana, and its website is www.occca.com
The annual “Centered on the Center” exhibition at the Huntington Beach Art Center is an open show to the first 200 artists, and opens with a reception on Saturday, Jan 23, 6 – 9 pm. Thom Wright has entered two abstract paintings from his latest series entitled “Tectonic Episodes”. These are acrylic and oil on panel.
ART STATEMENT FOR “TECTONIC EPISODES”
California sits exposed and waits for the next great earthquake of the San Andreas Fault and all of its splinter faults in California. The earth’s tectonic plates in the athenosphere below the earth’s mantle push, shove and subside the continental plates that eventually burst and send vibration and volcanic forces across the earth. My paintings portray these tectonic events at the surface as abstract cataclysms and distortions of the global surface.
As part of a group show at the newest art gallery in Huntington Beach, the Rainwater Gallery, hosts an opening on Thursday evening, July 16, 6 – 9 pm. Located at 508 Main St., the gallery has a large beautiful space showing many art styles from local artists. This opening is also coordinated with the Artwalk Night of Huntington Beach, with many other participating artists, and with the Huntington Beach Art Center, showing the art of 25 members of their Artist’s Council. Live music and refreshments provided.
Interview with SCA Member Thom Wright, by guest interviewer JB
JB – What’s a retired aerospace engineer like you doing making art in Orange County?
TW – We all come to art from many different beginnings. I started painting in watercolor about 35 years ago, after I graduated from college, and fell in love with it. Painting was an escape from my technical side, more like play. Then I began taking art courses every semester – art history, drawing, design, photography – it all kept growing and inspiring me to continue. Continue reading Interview with Artist: Thom Wright→
Thom Wright and maybe several other SCA members will be showing two paintings in the new year’s exhibition at the Huntington Beach Art Center, “Centered-on-the-Center”. Opening reception is Jan 31, 6-9 pm. This is the big open show of the year, and up to 1500 attendees will be coming. Hope to see some of you there. Thom
A Forum for Artists Working in Southern California