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Abstract Expressionist Artist Opens Ohio Northern’s Gallery Season

Tom ConnellyArtist Tom Connelly can spend six months to a year on one of his paintings, with the work changing drastically over that time. His work responds to emotional experiences and emphasizes creative spontaneity. His drawings are surprisingly simplistic in their composition, yet have tremendous impulses toward abstract expressionism.

Tom Connelly’s exhibition opens the 2009–10 gallery season at Ohio Northern University from September 8 through October 2 in the Elzay and the Stambaugh Studio Theatre galleries. A reception for the artist is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 11, beginning at 5p.m. in the lobby of the Elzay Gallery of Art.

A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Tom has studied with prominent and influential educators such as printmaker Philip Mendlo, sculptor Eugene Geddings and noted abstract impressionist William J. Gravatt. These influences continue to be explored in Tom’s work as he examines the terrain of abstraction in his energetic paintings and drawings.

After receiving a Crescent Memorial Scholarship from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Tom traveled extensively to study the works and methods of the world’s most important artists. He returned home to Pennsylvania to apprentice with William J. Gravatt who also studied with renowned French cubist artists Fernand Léger and Jean Metzinger, and French Dadaist and Surrealist painter Fancis Picabia. The direction and impact of Tom’s experiences can be seen in his much more overtly abstract paintings with thick dabs of paint, drips and scratches, such as in the acrylic work Fence (Quarry Series).

Tom has exhibited at the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, the Eclectic Art Gallery, Rennick Gallery, Blue Sky Gallery and La Fond Gallery. He has taught at the Pennsylvania State University, the Art Institute of New Kensington and has lectured regularly through a variety of organizations. His work is in numerous private, corporate and high-profile collections worldwide, including Carnegie Mellon University.

Admission to the Elzay and Stambaugh galleries is free and open to the public, daily from noon to 5 p.m. while school is in session. The Stambaugh Studio Theatre Gallery is also open prior to events held at Ohio Northern’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts. For additional information, to schedule a tour, or to be placed on the arts exhibition mailing list, please contact the department of art & design at 419-772-2160 or Visit the Art website for the latest information about times, locations and additions to the schedule.

ONU offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design, contact the department at 419.772.2160.