New Direction for Tom Anderson to Be Seen at Arts Walk

By Alec Clayton 

Tom Anderson is practically an art institution in Olympia. His studio has been open to the public since the 1980s. He’s created many well-known, public-art installations: the Park of the Seven Oars on Harrison, a suite of mural-size paintings in the emergency-room lobby at Providence St. Peters Hospital.His works are in many private and public collections.

Best known for mixed-media paintings on copper and other materials, Anderson’s recently been working in such traditional media as ink or acrylic on canvas and wood panels. These recent works are restful, meditative abstractions from landscape motifs in horizontal bands of rich color.

“Obviously I’m digging the blues,” Anderson says, referring to his paintings in which bright blue is the dominant hue. It’s also a nod to his love of music. He’s known for his collection of blues, blues and rock posters from his days in the heyday of San Francisco’s Fillmore West.

“They are a bit different,” he says, “less constructivist, perhaps. [I’m] not sure what I may be ready to show.” He suggests he might also include copper work shown a year ago in Portland, Oregon, but never in Olympia.

“Canvas is something new for me, and I am enjoying the physical response of the ink on it,” he mused on the subject, “The theme I have been thinking about is horizons, metaphorically, symbolically and literally. I feel it represents a gathering spot for hope and optimism. It represents the end and the beginning. I have always been drawn, no pun intended, to horizon lines and viewpoints that are a source of guidance or balance for me. The inks have a richness of color, with their transparency that reminds me of my years of working in stained glass and what inspired me when I was.”


Tom Anderson 


Thomas Architecture Studios,

525 Columbia St., Olympia 


5-10 p.m. Friday, April 26;

Noon – 8 p.m. Saturday, April 27 





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