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Tom Reed

Tom Reed is the master printer at Island Press, the Sam Fox School’s collaborative printshop, as well as a senior lecturer in art and printmaking area coordinator. He received his training as a printer from Landfall Press in Chicago, where he served as an intaglio printer with Jack Lemon and Steve Campbell. A practicing artist, his work has been the focal point of several solo and group exhibitions, including at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Elmhurst Museum of Art. Reed earned his MFA from the University of Iowa.

Artist Statement

The river is continually referred to in my work. Once a symbol of time and change in my paintings, it now has become a collaborative partner. I spend days and hours on the river fly fishing. Mementos of this time on the river—beaver-chewed sticks, logs, arrowheads, and junk—slowly began making their way into my studio and eventually into my work. Over time they formed a bridge between the river and my creative output. In my exhibition this is the before, I combined painted landscapes with small, wooden sculptures in the form of trail markers dotting a hiking trail. The largest, an arrow, reads simply “Before.” The word is both a warning and an invitation to view any ordinary, present-day moment through the eyes of a time traveler from the future. It asks, What would you change if you could go back in time? What if you are there right now?

Work by Tom Reed

A low wooden bench holds a dozen wooden totems capped by little colorful flags on tree branches. A large, dark print with a field of stars appears on the wall behind.

Install shot from ”this is the before”, Bruno David Gallery, 2020

A painting of various trees across a river, some bare, others green: the trees' bark is rendered with much detail, its texture almost like scales, glittering from a distance. The river that runs between the two stretches of land is a soft phthalo blue.

tiny tree, 2019

Mixed media on muslin on panel. 30 × 36", 76.2 × 91.4 cm.
A painting/print of various tall trees against a night sky adorned with stars: in the center is a sort of clearing; to its right one of the trees bends sideways.

night path, 2019

Mixed media on muslin on panel. 24 × 28", 61× 71.1 cm.
A wooden signpost with the word "BEFORE" pointing to the right, set against a white background.

BEFORE, 2019

Wood. 24 × 17 × 2", 61 × 43.2 × 5.1 cm.
A beaver dam (?) around a pool of blue water. In the background, a dark, shady wood.

night dam(n), 2020

Mixed media on muslin on panel. 30 × 36", 76.2 × 91.4 cm.