Thomas Shaw

Artist, Amputee

Thomas Shaw has been a professional artist for many years. He has had his work exhibited many times. All of the pictures in this newsletter are his original work. He also has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate.

An artist for many years, he spent his earlier career finding out what kind of art was going to define him. He spent many years depicting how society reflected on him in his surroundings.

Many of his early works were about social ills. He had witnessed, drugs, gangs, etc.. Thomas works mostly in a black and white artistic medium, using inks, relief print process and woodcut techniques.

As his health issues became more prominent in his life, his artistic focus found a new avenue. Thom found a great outlet to express how he was feeling about the way his health was effecting his life.

He has produced some outstanding and thought provoking pieces, which really capture the feelings and reflections of someone going through hospitalization, dialysis and all of the life altering effects of diabetes and amputation.

One piece, “A Dialysis Fable” represents the time spent regularly undergoing dialysis and the relaxation and contemplation time it provides. Thom said “It’s not the nicest thing, but it is necessary for me to do it. I took the approach of using the four hour sessions to think and reflect. I find the time useful now”.

A recurring theme of his recent artwork is the symbolic placement of his heart in all of his self portraits, representing his heart bypass surgery.

Another piece, entitled “Christ Hospital: The Rough Times” reflects on a time he was hospitalized with a neck brace and IV lines.

Much of the self portraits have been well received by the art world. Thom was the first artist to have a solo exhibition at Art Beyond Boundaries, 1410 Main Street, Cincinnati. The gallery specializes in artists with disabilities.

He started an exhibit of his work at the Art Academy on August 21st. He has taught classes displaying his techniques.

He hopes is work inspires others with disabilities throughout the world.

We cannot wait to see what his artistic self portraits are now that he has completed rehabilitation and is back in the studio!

Selected One Man Exhibits:

2009: “Life Stories”, Art Beyond Boundaries

2006: “Choice of Weapons III”, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH

2005: “Choice of Weapons II”, Artwork Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

2004: “Personal Impressions”, South Bend Museum, South Bend, IN

“Personal Impressions”, Sheldon Swope Museum of Art, Terre Haute, IN

“Personal Impressions”, Art Academy of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

“Personal Impressions”, Olin College Gallery, Kenyon College, Kenyon, OH

2003: “Personal Impressions”, Huntingdon Museum of Art, Huntingdon, WV

“Personal Impressions”, SUNY College At Oneonta, Oneonta, NY

2002: “Inner Sanctums, Urban Medals, & Other Short Subjects”, Cocelia Coker Gallery, Hartville, SC

2001: “Personal Impressions”, Dayton Visual Arts Center, Dayton, OH

“Inner Sanctums, Urban Medals, & Other Short Subjects”, Weston Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

“Choice of Weapons”, Phreibe Gallery, Oshkosh, WI

“Inner Sanctums, Urban Medals, & Other Short Subjects”, 1912 Gallery, Emery, VI

“Hardcore to the Edge”, Heistand Gallery, Oxford, OH