Raised in Lakewood, Ohio, Tom Balbo is a Cleveland-based artist whose work is internationally known. Garnering numerous awards, his artwork has been collected for well over 30 years. Graduating fromBaldwin-WallaceCollegewith a BA in 1977, he completed his MFA in Studio Arts atSyracuseUniversityin 1980 where he was awarded a Syracuse University Fellowship Grant and a Ford Foundation Grant.
Tom's earliest work was principally in ceramics and printmaking but his focus also included paper casting and pulp paintings. As his interest in papermaking grew, his work has turned increasingly towards expressing himself artistically in paper-related media. His use of color and simple form along with organic flow are the keynotes of his inventive style.
In 2006, Tom, along with other noted Cleveland-area artists and national hand papermaking artists conceived of the Morgan Conservatory when they noticed the decline of paper and book arts educational programming in theUS. Knowing that these were art forms worth preserving, the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation officially opened its doors in October, 2008 where Tom has been the Executive Director ever since. Tom is an approachable, encouraging artist who continues to create artwork, curate and jury exhibitions, and openly shares his substantial technical expertise. Also, as an avid recycler, he remains a visionary for the integration of used objects and repurposing (including buildings) into the Cleveland art scene. This retrospective showcases Balbo's innovation in cast paper and pulp painting from the early 1980s to the present.