Tom Potenza, Chicago-born artist, spent much of his youth traveling extensively in his Volkswagen camper, bouncing around the country. During the mid-70’s and early-80’s Tom landed in cities know for their art schools and colorful artist-communities like: Santa Fe, New Mexico, Atlanta Georgia, Key West, Florida and even Houston, Texas!
The local community art shows and street fairs provided Tom the perfect outlet for showing and selling his artworks. These were also a perfect fit for him to exhibit his one-of-a kind mind-bending, mixed-media pieces. Tom’s unique approach to his work seems totally unencumbered by the conventional or the mundane. His works seemingly erupt from somewhere beyond your standard imaging – putting on canvas what may not have been conveyed in words. Total originality springs from his mind and from his artist’s soul – the soul of a rebel. Art pieces produced by Tom are vigorous and full of energy giving voice to more than 60 years of “the rebel” and his life experiences.
Tom’s inner-gypsy-traveler did manage to settle long enough to attend art schools while in Atlanta. He attended The School Of the High Museum. painting and drawing curriculum. Over the years Tom dabbled in several formal Art education programs but he found these to be much too restrictive for his tastes.
Tom’s art seems to come from a primal place within his private inventory of mind- bending experiences. He attended The School Of The Art Institute of Chicago studying photography and film-making. Then at the College of DuPage, Wheaton, IL. he studied Art Management courses. He has received the Merit Award from the Barrington IL. Area Arts Council Show “The Art Around Us” and the following year the Award of Excellence from the BAAC “The Art Around Us”, First Place at the show “From Sea to Shinning Sea, at the Bloomingdale IL. Arts Council. The best of category for Painting at the David Adler Music and Arts Center “Festival of the Arts” Libertyville IL. The Awards of Merit from the Naperviller IL. Art Center at the shows “The 4 Elements”, “Coup de foudre”, and Abstract “Say it with Color”. 3rd place at Art In The Park, Petaluma Ca. Along with Purchase Awards from Art Fairs though out the years. Chairman for Art in the Park for the Petaluma Art Association.