Tom Stanley is a visual artist with a prolific body of work, an abiding curatorial interest in the work of self-taught artists, and a drive to engage in collaborative public art projects. He works in series with limitations of size, color, and imagery, and uses recurring shapes such as triangles and figurative elements of houses and boats. He utilizes graphic strategies like mechanical drawing, silhouette, and sgraffito in his process to make something he has never seen before.
Stanley received an MA in applied art history and an MFA in painting from the University of South Carolina. He has served on the faculties of Arkansas College (now Lyon College) in Batesville, Arkansas, and Barry University in Miami, Florida, before returning to the Carolinas to direct the Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, North Carolina. He was the first director of Winthrop University Galleries in 1990 and served as chair of Winthrop’s Department of Fine Arts from 2007 to 2017.
His 2017 exhibition, Tom Stanley: Scratching the Surface, at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina, provided an overview of his work from 2004 to the present. Through a creative partnership with the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), the Hidden Valley Neighborhood Association, and students, staff, and teachers at Martin Luther King Middle School and Hidden Valley Elementary School, Stanley steered the art concept and designed elements for the Tom Hunter Station on the CATS Blue Line light rail extension in Charlotte.