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Thom Sawyer
updated: 09/21/2013
website: www.thomsawyer.net
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
Creosote Grove (Exit Strategy)
Neighbors (East) (detail)
Neighbors (North) (detail)
Neighbors (West) (detail)
Neighbors (South) (detail)
Deadwood (Full Moon for T.W.)
Gantry
Young Trees
Staked Arizona Cypress
For Sale
Young Redbud (for Mrs. D.)
Baylor Pass
Cactus Wren
Shock Wave
Spigot and Hose
 
Portfolio Keywords:  mapping, pattern, architecture, landscape, meditative, nature, repetition
 
 
Creosote Grove (Exit Strategy) by Thom Sawyer
Creosote Grove (Exit Strategy)
graphite and color pencil
2012
18 " x  24 " 
Neighbors (East) (detail) by Thom Sawyer
Neighbors (East) (detail)
graphite and color pencil on four sheets
2011
18 " x  22 " 
Neighbors (North) (detail) by Thom Sawyer
Neighbors (North) (detail)
graphite and color pencil on four sheets
2011
18 " x  22 " 
Neighbors (West) (detail) by Thom Sawyer
Neighbors (West) (detail)
graphite and color pencil on four sheets
2011
18 " x  22 " 
Neighbors (South) (detail) by Thom Sawyer
Neighbors (South) (detail)
graphite and color pencil on four sheets
2011
18" x  22" 
Deadwood (Full Moon for T.W.) by Thom Sawyer
Deadwood (Full Moon for T.W.)
graphite and color pencil
2012
18 " x  24 " 
Gantry by Thom Sawyer
Gantry
graphite and color pencil
2011
18 " x  22 " 
Young Trees by Thom Sawyer
Young Trees
graphite and color pencil
2011
18 " x  22 " 
Staked Arizona Cypress by Thom Sawyer
Staked Arizona Cypress
graphite and color pencil
2012
18 " x  24 " 
For Sale by Thom Sawyer
For Sale
graphite and color pencil
2011
18 " x  22 " 
Young Redbud (for Mrs. D.) by Thom Sawyer
Young Redbud (for Mrs. D.)
graphite and color pencil
2011
18 " x  22 " 
Baylor Pass by Thom Sawyer
Baylor Pass
graphite and color pencil
2011
18 " x  22 " 
Cactus Wren by Thom Sawyer
Cactus Wren
graphite and color pencil
2011
18 " x  22 " 
Shock Wave by Thom Sawyer
Shock Wave
graphite and color pencil
2011
18" x  22" 
Spigot and Hose by Thom Sawyer
Spigot and Hose
graphite and color pencil
2011
18 " x  24 " 

Artist Statement

 36 Views of Baylor Canyon
 
The color drawings of this series were completed in the high desert of southern New Mexico at the foot of the Organ and San Andres Mountains.  These low mountains form a boundary or barrier between the Rio Grande Valley to the west and the Tularosa Valley to the east.  Two passes—Baylor Canyon and San Augustin—connect the activities of the largely civilian Rio Grande Valley to the Tularosa Valley, which contains one of the worlds' largest weapons testing facilities, White Sands Missile Range, as well as the Trinity Site, the location of the first atomic bomb detonation.

As a result, the drawings encompass many elements of everyday, quiet domestic life that stand in stark contrast to the growing global impact of national defense; the work of the home and studio take place next to a sprawling military-industrial complex, the activities of which regularly overflow the mountain barriers in the form of afterburners, aftershocks and extended periods of circling remote-controlled drones on training runs.

Although the two worlds of the valleys clearly overlap, domestic settings dominate the drawings—no military actions are directly depicted, but rather are alluded to primarily through titles and the proximity of the ever-present mountainous boundaries.  As such, the mountains play several important roles as geographic, political, visual and conceptual connectors or barriers between the valleys.

The series’ title makes reference to Hokusai’s images of Mount Fuji, which functioned as a symbol of national beauty, strength and pride.  In the Baylor Canyon series, Mount Fuji has been replaced by a largely unknown, nondescript location and landform that, given the activities of White Sands Missile Range, could be understood as a symbol of national might.  But those same activities, in their aggression and destruction, also bring hesitation and doubt that are almost imperceptibly juxtaposed against daily, domestic life.

Artist Bio / CV

Education
University of Pennsylvania, MFA
Carnegie Mellon University, BFA

Exhibitions
2009
see you again last year, Community College of Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD
Landscapes into Art, C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Julia’s Garden, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
2008
Once Again, Again, McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, VA
Flat Files, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
2007
The Figure: Transcribing the Human Form, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR
Language, Place, and Object, Washington Street Art Center, Boston, MA
2005
Wonderwall, College of the Siskiyous, Weed, CA
2004
Terrestrial Forces, Museum of Fine Arts, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Unknown, Ventura College, Ventura, CA
285 Miles, Rogue Community College, Grants Pass, OR
2003
Take Me to the River, Sierra Arts Foundation, Reno, NV
2002
New Talent IV, Signal 66, Washington, DC
2001
Texas National, Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, TX
2000
Vital Signs: Drawing as Inquiry
, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT
What Is Drawing Now?, Weber State University, Ogden, UT
1999
New American Talent 14, Texas Fine Arts Association, Austin, TX
1998
Blush, ArtSites 98, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
Recent Monotypes, Pennsylvania School of Art and Design, Lancaster, PA

Grants
2009
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation