Artist Bio

Sculptor Tom Michelson was born in Kansas City, Missouri but spent most of his childhood moving from place to place with his mother after his parents divorce. His work and aesthetic are influenced by artists Charles Bukowski, Tom Waits, as well as Robert Arneson and the West Coast Art Funk movement. Tom’s work offers a glimpse into the lives of those denizens of the soft underbelly of the Mission and Tenderloin.

Tom had been working with ceramics for more than 20 years, but his
cancer diagnosis gave him the permission slip he needed to leave his day job and  become a full-time studio artist.  The travel industry was putting food on the table and created lifetime friendships, but it did not feed his soul the way that art did. Tom left travel and began his descent into being  a full time artist.

Tom opened the Red Brick Studio  in the heart of the Mission district in San Francisco; building community and and enabling him space  to work on a larger scale.  The heroic scale of his work is often diametrically opposed to the subject matter creating a unique tension in the work.  Tom is still connected with the nonprofit RedBrick Studio 20 years later as an active Board member.

Tom currently lives in Portlnd, Oregon with his wife, leaving his home of 40 years in San Francisco. Tom’s work has been displayed at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis,California, Smaart Gallery in San Francisco, Siskiyou Museum in Dunsmir, California and the Oakland Museum of Ceramic Art in Oakland, California.

Tom is currently launching his new line of small, functional sculptures.  They are one-of-a-kind pipes, which are being sold under the name, Tom’s Peculiar Pipes.

Tom and totem #3
Tom and totem #3