Paquette’s work exhibited in Philly

Thomas Paquette, a local artist, has announced his work is on display at the Gross McCleaf Gallery, 16th St., Philadelphia, from Jan. 29 through Feb. 23. An opening reception is planned from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1.

A native of Minneapolis, Thomas Paquette earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Southern Illinois University (1988), and a BFA in painting from Bemidji State University (1985), according to the Gross McCleaf Gallery. A few months out of graduate school, he was one of the first three recipients of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts’ three-year Fellowship in the Visual Arts in Miami Beach. When that ended in 1991, he moved from Miami to Portland, Maine, where he painted full-time for a decade, drawn by the landscape. Among other accomplishments during that time, he completed a seven- by thirty-two-foot canvas for the State of Minnesota, and four large canvases commissioned by the Federal Reserve Bank.

Thomas was invited in 1999 to be a guest artist through the USM-Aegean Arts and Cultural Exchange on the Greek island of Lesvos. That same year, he was invited to speak to college art students in England (Exeter) and Wales (Cardiff). The next year, he was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. Other artist-residencies that he participated in were at National Parks (Yosemite, Acadia and Rocky Mountain), the Robert M. MacNamara Foundation and the Millay Colony.

The Georgia Museum of Art mounted a 70-painting survey exhibition of Thomas’ work in 2001, the same year he moved to northwest Pennsylvania. He has had one-man exhibitions at prominent galleries in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Washington DC, and Maine, among other places. The Erie Art Museum hosted an exhibition of his paintings in 2004. Beyond museums and galleries, many of his paintings have been exhibited around the world at US Embassies in Athens, Chad, Phnom Penh, Riga, Rome, St. Petersburg, Santiago, Taipei and Vienna.