Tom Skelly’s latest drawings alludes to the split-second drama of the performer in motion. Musicians and actors are the subjects of his inventive and glowing artistic output. The swift and expressive movements of performers influence his drawings and are often blurred to resemble an embryonic state of appearance. These “pictures of sound” are connected to his radio program called “The Sound of Pictures”, which features a diverse collection of music for the screen, stage, and street corner. It can be heard on Wednesdays from 3-4pm on KSPC Claremont 88.7fm and kspc.org, and also on XRAY.FM Portland at 4-5am at 91.1 and 107.1 and archived streaming.
His work also includes hand-built sculptures made from pre-fabricated materials such as jigsaw puzzles, paint-by-number sets, broken appliances, plastic models, and any other ready-made objects that shows potential for an evolution into curious and thought provoking art forms.
Skelly’s work can be summarized as a silent collaboration with outside influences ranging from music, film, architecture, and literature. His exposure to these objects and experiences creates a brew that results in an original visual statement that speaks to both worlds with a nod toward irony.
Tom Skelly was born in St. Louis Missouri. He received a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University in Painting in 1979. Upon graduating he began exhibiting and teaching painting, drawing and design.
In 1980 Skelly accepted an Artist In Residence position to design and implement a multi-disciplinary fine arts program at the California Institution for Men in Chino. During this time he began collaborating with artists in a variety of disciplines including theater and music. In 1985 he began hosting a weekly three hour radio program at KSPC Pomona College. Since then Skelly began producing radio and audio art for gallery installations, performances, and National Public Radio.