Sound Art


The art that I make is based on the everyday images we see while driving down the road or at work and home. They are images that crop up in magazines, illustrations in novels, billboards, storefronts, and offices. Most of these images are so familiar that they have become part of our common visual language. I feel sorry for these images because they appear to be trapped by how they are used. Pretty pictures in offices seem to be screaming out to be released to let grow and evolve. On the other hand, billboards seem happier by having the company of graffiti.

My approach to art is an attempt to release common images from their former duties and allow them to evolve toward a new direction. By doing so, I have slightly changed some of their prior identities and have decided that these changes have made them freer. The vintage style paintings have responded favorably to the addition of pieces of album covers, spray paint, and various elements. The paint by numbers perk up and talk back when I rearrange the systems that have been imposed upon them from their birth.


Tom Skelly was born in St. Louis Missouri in 1952. He received a B.A. from the University
of California at Santa Barbara and an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University in
Painting in 1979. Upon graduating he began exhibiting and teaching painting, drawing
and design.

In 1980 Skelly accepted an Artist In Residence position to design and implement a multi-disciplinary fine arts program at the California Institution for Men in Chino. During
this time he began collaborating with artists in a variety of disciplines including theater
and music. In 1985 he began hosting a weekly three hour radio program at KSPC
Pomona College. Since then Skelly began producing radio and audio art for gallery
installations, performances, and National Public Radio. Skelly resides in Claremont
and is active in the community and public art scene. He continues to host The Sound of
Pictures featuring music for the screen, stage, street corner and interviews at KSPC
88.7fm and www.kspc.org on Sundays from 7–10pm.