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Thomas Balbo (1954-)

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  • Thomas Balbo (American, b. 1954) Untitled (Abstract), Handmade cast paper,

  • Thomas Balbo (American, b. 1954) Untitled (Abstract), Handmade cast paper,

  • Thomas Balbo cast paper

  • Thomas Balbo etching

Thomas Balbo Biography

Tom Balbo has spent most of his life in and around Cleveland, Ohio. Born December 19, 1954, he attended public and private schools in the Cleveland area. In 1977 he graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio with a B.A. in Studio Arts. The following year, he began his Masters Degree at Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts in Syracuse, New York, where he was awarded a Syracuse University Fellowship Grant in 1979 and 1980, and a Ford Foundation Grant. His work at Syracuse focused on ceramics and printmaking, but he also developed interests in papermaking and sculpture. In 1980, he completed an M.F.A at Syracuse in Studio Arts.

Tom's earliest work was principally in ceramics and printmaking - interests that he keeps today. As his interest in papermaking grew, his work turned increasingly towards expressing his artistic creativity in this area, and he gained substantial technical expertise as well.

Over the past 25 years, Tom's work has been exhibited and shown in a huge number of shows and galleries. He has garnered numerous awards and critical attention, and his work is featured in many collections.

Tom continues to work, principally in paper and ceramics, and divides his time between a warehouse amazingly converted to an enchanting studio, and his gallery. He lives in a condominium in beautiful and historic "Shaker Square", and his amazing terrace garden is a delight to visitors, and a featured pictoral story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.


I began using paper as an artistic medium in 1979 and have found it an almost unlimited source of inspiration and potential, both in its The artist in his gallery on Buckeye Road in Cleveland... physical capabilities and visual qualities. The use of found objects for textural translations is intended to allude to the real and create illusions of reality. The spatial relationship between the two-dimensional quality of surface, the use of color to flatten or expand figure to ground , and the actual three-dimensional aspect of cast paper all work to create an object that stands by itself. It comes out of both a painting and sculptural tradition. These works are abstractions in a formal language and make a process, spontaneity, and gesture. They are intended to create questions in the viewer as to how we perceive space by juxtaposing the actual with the referential, texture with or without the colorful, and scale enhanced or defined with details.I hope you'll feel free to call me about my work, to write me email, or to visit one of my upcoming shows or exhibitions.

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