Tom Friedman honored at Founders Day

Tom Friedman's sculpture, "Looking Up," is installed outside the St. Louis Science Center in Forest Park.

Posted by Liam Otten November 5, 2018

Visual artist Tom Friedman, known for transforming mundane consumer products into playful yet meticulously crafted works of art, received a Distinguished Alumni Award during Washington University’s annual Founders Day gala on November 3. The award recognizes outstanding professional achievement, public service, and exceptional service to the university.

Born in St. Louis in 1965, Friedman earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic illustration from Washington University in 1988 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1990. His work has been exhibited extensively in major museums throughout the world, including solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.

In 2006, the university’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum inaugurated its new building with “Pure Invention: Tom Friedman,” which surveyed more than 20 works drawn from St. Louis-area collections. In 2016, Friedman created “Swamp Creature Friends” for Art on Campus, a public art program coordinated by the Kemper Art Museum and Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Last year, his sculpture “Looking Up” was installed outside the St. Louis Science Center in Forest Park.

For more about Founders Day and other distinguished alumni, visit