About the Artist
Located on the Great Island, just east of Lock Haven, PA, Tom’s workshop and studio has been in operation for over twenty years. The site has been a center of agriculture and commerce since before the arrival of Europeans in North America. To this day it remains one of the most prolific sites in the state for Native American artifacts. It seems appropriate to continue with that tradition of hand craftsmanship.
All of Tom’s pieces are original in concept, minimal in their use of materials, and respectful of the sustainable hardwood timber resources indigenous to the Northeast. The intent is to produce timeless, utilitarian design objects that will enrich the environments in which they are placed. Mindful of the ever-increasing demand by collectors for hand made American Crafts, all pieces are signed and dated.
Artwork by Tom Svec
Special Projects and Exhibitions by Tom Svec
Transformations Exhibition (February 16 - March 31)
Where creative endeavor is concerned, the evolution of artists, such as one might encounter in the study of art history can seem random and somewhat abstract. Direct influence is sometimes hard to establish, sometimes difficult for artists to embrace. Generally speaking, such activities are left to the art historians who delineate them according to their own set of observations and impressions.
Both Kurt Herrmann and I studied with Bill Foster at Lock Haven University. ( It was still Lock Haven State College when I was there in the 70″s). Kurt was a fine arts major, I was a liberal arts major. Kurt wanted to establish himself as a studio artist from the start. I gravitated toward the art department late in my academic career in pursuit of a degree in design – specifically furniture design.
It is not always the norm that a professor of art will have been an outstanding studio artist, energetic and ambitious in pursuit of his or her creative vision. It is also not the norm that such a person would also be an outstanding teacher. Not only was William Foster an outstanding teacher but he was able to separate his own artistic style from those of his students while maintaining a valid artistic critique.
Mentoring is a human art the basis of which is the suppression of ones ego to the point where constructive criticism can be rendered. Without critique, one can seldom move forward effectively in any creative undertaking. Mentoring in the case of Bill Foster involved not only moral support and constructive criticism but also actual monetary support. Bill owned our work. We became lifelong friends in the bargain.
As a group, we represent three different generations of creative undertaking. Bill started his undergraduate studies in the late forties, graduating from Columbia University with an MFA in fine art in the early fifties. His mature work, his transformations as he called them, began to take shape in the mid to late fifties and evolved on into the 80’s
I graduated in 1979 and established a furniture design workshop and studio shortly thereafter. From that point to the present, designing and building furniture has been my sole occupation.
Kurt graduated in 1996 with a BFA from LHU. He and I worked together for a number of years building furniture while he set about the task of establishing a studio. In about 2000 he established himself as a full-time studio artist.
It is hoped that within the purvey of this exhibit one might get an idea of creative evolution by three people interconnected by education and creative proximity. That we were all good friends, respected each other’s creativity, and were able to share those attributes across three generations encompassing the late forties through the present will, I hope, make for a thought provoking and entertaining exhibit. Transformations.