Tom Hardy was an original Oregonian–showing his love for the Pacific Northwest’s flora and fauna early in his life when he memorized the scientific names for all that he saw on his adventures. Tom’s observant and inquisitive nature let him absorb all that he saw in the Oregon wilderness, and that awe is felt in his work. His subjects included animals, landscapes, and sometimes his depictions of scientific theories and phenomena that allow for the marvelous visuals that inspired him.
Thomas Austin Hardy started his art career early, having his first exhibition in the Portland Art Museum at only 16. However, as was the case for many War-Era artists, the second World War took the young University of Oregon Art graduate to Honolulu, Hawaii in 1942, where he served for 4 years. Upon his return home in 1946, Tom dove right back into his passion. His travels around the world, including Tahiti, several parts of Africa, and Europe, only added fervor to his passion for making and showing his art. While Hardy’s early career included watercolor, prints, paintings, and ceramics, his later pursuits took shape as an MFA in Direct Metal Sculpture. He used that degree from U of O to teach at multiple schools, including Berkely, Reed, and the San Francisco Art Institute.
Tom Hardy combined his love for art and the natural environment to teach others about it, learn about different parts of the world, and, perhaps most importantly, create art–eventually gaining fame as a sculptor and painter. Tom’s work can be currently found in several museums, private collections across the country, and even in The Metropolitan Museum in New York and The Whitney Museum.