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 Thomas (Tom) Daniel  (1936 - )

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Lived/Active: Arizona/Utah/California      Known for: trains, cars, planes, aerospace vehicles and landscape painting

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Biography from Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts:
TOM DANIEL, born at Los Angeles, California in 1936, began drawing and painting in early childhood.  During his 'teen' years, Tom realized he wanted to fully pursue his passion for art and design as a career choice.

A straight-A art major in high school, Tom won many awards for his art and design including the prestigious "Bullocks Gold Key" award for High School Achievement in Art. At about the same time, Daniel was fortunate that one of his art teachers arranged for Tom a 'field trip' to the famous Art Center School located at West 3rd Street in Los Angeles.  That fortuitous event galvanized Tom like nothing before. The student works he saw hanging on the walls and in classrooms - especially the futuristic vehicles - inspired Tom to begin creating a portfolio of his automotive designs in hopes of being accepted as a freshman at ACS. The Art Center required prospective students to have at least two years of college before enrolling, but after seeing Tom's portfolio he was admitted directly from high school..

Thus began 4 grueling years of intense study and no-nonsense 5-days-a-week labor to learn color theory, perspective theory, drawing, drafting, architectural rendering, clay modeling, illustration, painting, indication work, landscape painting, automotive design, product design, packaging + Saturday classes stressing technical aspects of design and art history.

Of the 80+ freshmen in Tom's class, four years later (in 1959), thirteen seniors graduated and of those, 5 got jobs.  Tom Daniel was one of the 5 Transportation Major students to be hired for immediate work. Tom was one of three graduates to be hired by General Motors Styling!  It was "a dream come true" for young Daniel.

Though industrial design work paid the bills for Tom and his family, he never lost his deep passion and commitment to landscape painting - with transparent watercolor being a favorite medium.  

In 1979, Tom moved to Sedona, Arizona and shortly after opened a fine art & sculpture gallery located on Highway 89 in uptown Sedona directly adjacent the Sedona Artists and Craftsman's "Art Barn".  He named his gallery simply "THE" Gallery, and represented some 27 artists and sculptors - mostly from the western states. Tom was asked by the Sedona Art Center to become the president of the Artists & Craftsman's Guild - and served one year - making many improvements to the interior and display capability of the Art Barn facilities and producing impressive art exhibitions. Though the time consuming work of running his gallery and presiding over the Sedona A&C Guild put a big dent into his painting schedule, Tom was able to find some time for landscape painting in the general area.  Oak Creek and the semi-ghost town of Jerome, Arizona were favored locations.

During this time, Tom co-founded the "Society of Steam Artists of America". The intent was to attract fine artists who were aware of and passionate about 'Industrial' fine art.  The inaugural exhibition was held at the Sedona Arts Center in 1982, and again in 1983.  1984 through 1987 saw "SA" exhibitions at the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry;
The Charles Allis Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; the State Capitol Building at Boston, Massachusetts; the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada and  (in 1991), the California State Museum at Sacramento, California.

In 2004, Tom moved to Kanab, Utah where be bought property and built his 'dream studio', complete with fabulous views of the Southern Utah landscape and - for the first time- actual North Light to paint by.


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