One of Tom Dimond’s earliest artistic inspirations was the puzzle page in the Sunday comics. “You used a grid to create a drawing,” he said, and even today that grid shows up in the mixed media collages he now favors. He will speak about his process at the next meeting of the Anderson Artists Guild on Monday, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Anderson Arts Center. He will also be offering a two-day workshop at the Anderson Arts Center on April 19-20.
Dimond grew up in Middleboro, Mass., and received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He taught at Winthrop College for a year before moving to New York in 1970 to work with some friends who had opened a commercial art studio. Their projects included record album covers, paperback book covers, magazines, and a contract to serve as art director for National Lampoon, the iconic humor magazine. But after 10 months, Dimond moved back to South Carolina, where he taught for two years for the School District of Greenville County. Then he began his career at Clemson University, running the Rudolph E. Lee Gallery for 15 years before moving into a full-time position as a professor of art. He retired in 2006.
Over the years, he’s been active in competitions and juried shows, in addition to one-man shows throughout the state and region. He has sold a lot of his work to corporations such as Equitable Life Insurance Company, which purchased four of his pieces. His work also hangs at Tri-County Technical College and at city hall and in some museums in Greenville. He advises other artists to get their work out there. “You have to make contacts,” he said. “The way to do that is doing a lot of shows. Take advantage of every opportunity you can. Show your work around. Get as much exposure as you can.”
His work has evolved. In the 1970s, he was drawn to geometric abstraction, also called hard-edge painting. “The surfaces had a flat edge and were very pristine with no texture or gestural marks,” he said. He developed a technique of creating shaped canvases that followed the contours of images painted on them. A decade later, influenced by work he saw in galleries, he began to explore creating more textured surfaces.
After retiring from teaching, he attended a mixed media collage workshop with Fran Skiles that sent him in a new direction. “I do a lot of layering, and a lot of discovery comes about as you work through that process,” he said. “I enjoy the chance occurrence of images and textures that work together.”
In his upcoming workshop, he hopes to inspire other artists to take unrelated elements and put them together in meaningful ways. For more information about Dimond, visit http://tomdimond.com/. For more information about his mixed media collage workshop, visit https://andersonarts.charityproud.org/EventRegistration/Index/1754.