My professional career has primarily followed a pathway in biological disciplines. I spent many years as a biologist studying small bird and waterfowl populations. Throughout this period, however, I was always involved in artistic endeavours that were informed by bird and habitat observations across western Canadian rural and wilderness landscapes. The opportunity to observe these lands from both the air and ground allowed me to develop an appreciation for the juxtaposition of different habitats and land forms as well as their textures and colours throughout the seasons.
While the biologist in me may have been focusing on the science of the landscapes, the artist side of me was focusing on the beautiful abstract nature of the natural environment. For many years, I have drawn on this reserve of images to develop both representational and abstract works, primarily in stained glass and photography. My stained glass designs naturally focused on the beauty of birds and the settings they were found in. Photography also focused on capturing wildlife. The abstract, organic aspects of nature however, were always part of my photographic endeavours. I still maintain a darkroom and enjoy the hands on aspects of film photography.
During the last few years, I have broadened my artistic pursuits to include clay sculpture and pit-firing techniques. Pit firing represents an intriguing exploration of probabilities. The application of various materials and fire create organic patterns across a ceramic landscape. It is always exciting to uncover a piece from the ashes and to see if the firing has produced the anticipated effects.
Having enjoyed a successful career as a biologist I was able to more fully pursue my interest in the arts by working for the Grande Prairie Regional College as the studio technician for the Fine Arts Department and was in this position for 5 years. I have now decided to take time to develop my art and practice and have more fully developed a home studio.
American Ornithologists’ Union Exhibition of Bird Art by Alberta Artists, Edmonton, August 24-27, 1981
Photograph selected for the Grande Prairie, Alberta bus pass; 1999
Grande Prairie Art Gallery Members’ Show, 2010
Grande Prairie Regional College Faculty Art Show, The Glass Gallery; September 2012
Grande Prairie Regional College student show, Beaverlodge Cultural Center, AB; February 2013
Black and White Exhibition, The Centre for Creative Arts, Grande Prairie: August 2013
Grande Prairie Regional College Faculty Art Show, The Glass Gallery; September 2013
Art Gallery of Grande Prairie 34th Juried Art Auction; April 12, 2014
Grande Prairie Regional College Faculty Art Show, The Glass Gallery; September 2014
“Tony Bloom Landbuoys” Essay by Amy Gogarty, 2015; photograph for the publication.
Grande Prairie Regional College Faculty Art Show, The Glass Gallery; September 2015
Art of the Peace Group Pop Up Show, Teresa Sargent Hall, Grande Prairie September 2015
Alberta Craft Council, Feature Gallery: July9 - October 1, 2016
Centre For Creative Arts, The Centre Gallery, group show: September 2016
Grande Prairie Regional College Faculty Art Show, The Glass Gallery; September 2016
Art Gallery of Grande Prairie 37th Juried Art Auction; April 8, 2017
Centre For Creative Arts, "Canada 150" show, Aug 4 – 25, 2017: Grande Prairie
North Peace Cultural Centre, Fort St. John, BC: "Varieties of Abstraction"; Nov 3 to Nov 25, 2017
Centre for Creative Arts, The Centre Gallery, "Naked Thursday" figure drawing group show; Jan 5-26, 2018
Art Gallery of Grande Prairie 38th Juried Art Auction; April 12, 2018
Centre For Creative Arts, The Centre Gallery, “Painted With Fire”; March 4 - 29, 2016
Alberta Craft Council, Discovery Gallery; July 22 – September 2, 2017: Edmonton
Art Gallery Of Grande Prairie, sculptural ceramics: August 16-October 2, 2017
Dawson Creek Art Gallery, sculptural ceramics: January 30 - February 21, 2018
Alberta Craft Council, Spotlight Artist, February, 2018: Edmonton
-Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition through the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, various venues throughout Alberta
September 2017-2019 (2 years): 2017-2018 Northern TREX region
Selected for Swanavon School's 50th anniversary commemorative project; Grande Prairie, October 16, 2007; “Swanavon School”: 33” x 60” stained glass/copper foil panel
Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation; 2016
“ART OF THE PEACE”, Fall 2015: ARTCETERA: Backyard Fire Pit Explorations
“ART OF THE PEACE”, Fall 2015: Featured Artist
DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE, March 4, 2016: "Landscapes, fences focus of new CCA shows"
“Alberta Craft”, Alberta Craft Council; May 6-August 19, 2017
"VUE Weekly" Edmonton: #1134/July 20,-July26, 2017
"Galleries West Digital": July 18, 2017
"Galleries West Digital": August 15, 2017
Community Producers: "Varieties of Abstractions"; YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSWfSPviV_U
Sale of original ceramics and stained glass panels to private collections (ongoing)
Grande Prairie Regional College: Fine Arts Studio Technician (Jan 2012-April 2017)
Art of the Peace Visual Art”s Association, Vice-President (past)
Art Gallery of Grande Prairie: Technician (current)
Art Gallery of Grande Prairie: Board Treasurer (current)
Albeta Craft Council, professional member