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Columbia College Hosting Art Exhibition On Campus
This piece, titled “Old Oak Tree on Appaloosa Road” was done in 2019 by artist Claire Hanson Tom. An exhibit of her work is currently on display at Columbia College and continues through May 31. Photo Contributed

Artwork by Claire Hanson Tom is currently on display in the Manzanita Building, upper level Rotunda, at Columbia College. The exhibit runs through May 31 and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; all are welcome to come view the artwork.

Columbia College is at 11600 Columbia College Drive in Sonora.

Claire Hanson Tom is a California artist who has exhibited her work since the 1990’s and continues developing her creative production. She is a graduate of the venerable San Francisco Art Institute. In 2013, she illustrated the award-winning children’s book, “The Bubble Gum Princess” (Julie Gribble, New York Media Works). She has worked with renowned Magic Realist painter Gregory Gillespie, and with the American satirist, Jules Feiffer.

The body of her work broadly spans the field of 2-D media – from oil and watercolor painting; to large format magic realist drawings; to scientific illustration and graphic narrative formats. Her proficient use of a variety of media enables her to deeply explore the nexus between the narrative qualities inherent in materials and the representation of form.

Alongside her artwork, Tom has been an adjunct professor at Columbia College since 2007, teaching all subjects related to 2-D Art. She also maintains an active collaboration with the Forestry and Natural Resources Department to promote the utilization of visual tools as a method of understanding the natural world. She has developed this connection successfully through her Drawing in Nature and Nature Journaling summer courses at the High Sierra Institute (Baker Station) since 2014.

The watercolor work in this exhibit focuses primarily on the landscape of the California Foothills, created during the time that she called this region home.

“These paintings concern the importance of the dialogue between color upon the physical surface of the paper and the chimerical tree forms that were created out of my direct experience of the landscape, in real time. In this, I attempted to embody life’s temporal dynamics within the atmospheres and objects of the landscape. This is what I see in the natural world,” Tom explained. “I believe that painting grows out of an internal necessity. My process could be described as creating visual order through a process of synthesis and disruption. It is a conversation of activity between myself, the medium and the subject, uncovering the images in paint as if they have always been there, waiting for me to find them. These compositions rest on the layers of color and energy of the brush work into the paint passages as they were laid down.”

For more information or to view work by Claire Hanson Tom, visit: