beth tom made some art

The New Yorker (detail) 

oil & collage on cardboard, 



beth tom



i was born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1968, and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. i graduated Walnut Hills high school in 1986. i moved to Tempe, Arizona when i was 19, starting out in Cincinnati on a tandem bicycle in June and arriving in Phoenix on a Greyhound bus in July of 1987. 

i was accepted into the Graphic Design program at ASU in 1988 and graduated from there with a BFA in 1991. 

i worked as a junior designer for the design firm Richardson or Richardson and was Acting Creative Director for The Phoenix Zoo, both in the early 90's.  

i taught drawing and design as Adjunct Faculty at ASU for almost a decade in the late 90's-early 2000's.

here i am in my airstream studio:



i was lucky/stubborn enough to get to study with the late great Rob Roy Kelly at ASU, from 1987-1991 as a design student, and then again when i got to teach alongside him on and off from 1997 until his passing in 2004. This included drawing study and most of Josef Albers' "Interaction of Color" exercises, which Rob learned from Albers himself when he studied with him at Yale, where Kelly got his MFA. for more of that fascinating story, see Rob's autobiography notes at

i'm grateful for all the other teachers who helped me learn, including: Roger Lerch and Wylie Ferguson, both at Walnut Hills, and Art Hahn, Earl Linderman, Laurie Lundquist, Ron Gasowski and Thomas Detrie, all at ASU. And especially Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, and The Electric Company.


some honors

The Ezra Jack Keats Fellowship, The Don Freeman Memorial Grant, Phoenix Artlink Juror's Award, City of Tempe Public Library Card, Featured in Phoenix Home & Garden, Downtown Phoenix, ReadyMade, ModernPainters 

and Dwell Magazines, and at the Phoenix Sky Harbor international airport.

some reviews

Ivan Karp


"[beth tom's] paintings are well-made and totally enthralling." O.K. Harris, New York

roberta burnett


"[beth tom] proves she is a fearless, serious contemporary painter willing to take risks." The Arizona Republic

john Smith-amato


"[beth tom] explores the sense and nonsense of the human condition... herein lies America's response to Paul Klee." Synchronicity Space, New York

Rudy turk


"beth tom is a painter's painter."

the worst song ever


green light now begin

i left it at the studio

bun at sticker phiends 4

finally clear

south wall + mingus

north wall + bjork

bun on farmer

beth tom

Tempe, Arizona, United States