TOM STANLEY BIOGRAPHY
Tom Stanley is a visual artist. After earning an MA in Applied Art History and an MFA in Painting from the University of South Carolina in 1980, he served on the faculties of Arkansas College (now Lyon College) in Batesville, Arkansas and Barry University in Miami, Florida. He was director of the Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, North Carolina, from 1985 until 1990 when he became the first full-time director of Winthrop University Galleries in Rock Hill, South Carolina. For 10 years he served as chair of Winthrop’s Department of Fine Arts until his retirement in 2017.
Stanley works in series with limitations of size, color and imagery. He uses recurring shapes such as triangles and figurative elements of houses and boats. Typical media are acrylic on canvas or on paper. Although using common graphic strategies like mechanical drawing, silhouette, and sgraffito, his painting is reliant on evolving techniques that he has discovered in the process of making.
His 2004 Floating series was exhibited at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He has exhibited internationally at gallery twenty-four, Berlin; La Galerie du Marché, Lausanne; Musée de la Halle Saint Pierre, Paris; and the University of Porto’s Casa-Museu Abel Salazar, Portugal. His exhibition Tom Stanley: Scratching the Surface was featured at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in 2017, Charleston, South Carolina.
Since 2007 he has worked on public art projects including elements for the CATS light rail Tom Hunter Station in Charlotte. Several of the projects including Time Further Out in Mathews and Journey in Raleigh were in collaboration with colleague Shaun Cassidy. Stanley is a recipient of Winthrop University’s Medal of Honor in the Arts, and the Governor’s Award in the Arts (formerly the Verner). In spring 2018 he completed a six-week residency as visiting artist at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, and worked with Casa-Museu Abel Salazar, University of Porto in Portugal, on a temporary site project for their chapel, Layers: On-Site Installation. In April 2019 he completed an 8-month residency at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation where he also served as visiting curator. In February 2020 Stanley was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst.
Current activities include an ASC public art commission for a City of Charlotte Infrastructure Improvement Project along Tom Hunter Road in the Hidden Valley neighborhood, and co-curated with Lia Newman the exhibition True Likeness at Davidson College’s Van Every Smith Galleries which is now traveling in the U.S. In 2021 he exhibited his own work Typical Trees and Other Small Works at The George Gallery.