Gallery Artists > Tom Palmore Biography :

Tom Palmore (b. 1945)  Artworks >>

Tom Palmore realistically renders "every sort of creature, from parrots to bears to rams, in circumstances that are not impossible, perhaps, but certainly unlikely. He likes to think that if these animals could commission their own portraits, these would be their chosen settings" (Indyke). Palmore was born in 1945 in Ada, Oklahoma, population 16,000. Raised by his mother and grandparents, he was encouraged to draw and paint. While a student at North Texas State University, he searched for a role model to guide his career in art. Many turned him to Chapman Kelley, a professional artist and gallery owner. Palmore made an appointment and took a dozen Texas landscape paintings with him to Dallas. At the age of 19 Palmore heard the words, "Well, I'll tell you. You have a lot to learn," from Kelley. It took a lot for Palmore "with several art prizes under his belt to shelve his ego and agree to study with Kelley in a class of elite high school students" (Indyke). Later Palmore joined five of his six fellow students in attending Kelley's alma mater, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. At the Academy, the oldest art school in America, Palmore got a well-rounded, traditional art education. With his friend, the film maker David Lynch, he complained about the restrictions of the curriculum, but years later realized the enormous impact on his ability as a painter. In art school, and in the years immediately following, he created elaborate techniques of his own. Slowly, he began including realistic objects -televisions, flying lollipops, and eventually, animals. By his early 20s, he had been included in a group show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. His days were spent working on his art and his evenings tending bar. At 25, he had his first solo show at Marion Lock Gallery in Philadelphia, entitled "Midgets, Gorillas, and a Couple of Dogs". In his paintings, monkeys perch on antique carousel horses and recline in topiary gardens. Penguins pose before Seurat seascapes and poodles in front of Monet water lilies. His work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum, the Venice Biennale, and the Smithsonian. Currently Palmore's studio is in Wister, on the eastern border of Oklahoma. Source

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