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About the artist

Thomas Paquette is well known across the United States for his landscape paintings, which have been the subject of more than sixty solo exhibitions in prominent art galleries in Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York City, Washington DC, and elsewhere. Some of his twelve solo art museum exhibitions are listed below.

Born in Minneapolis, Paquette earned his BFA degree in painting at Bemidji State University in 1985, graduating summa cum laude; he then completed his formal art education with a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting on a full graduate fellowship from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1988.

He was awarded a CAVA Residency-Fellowship for three winters in Miami from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts from 1989-91. Following that, for a decade he was a resident of Maine, painting the wilder lands there, and worked on some very large public commissions listed below. In 2001 he relocated to the Allegheny River town of Warren, Pennsylvania, after marrying Ellen Putnam, also an artist.

Paquette draws inspiration from the natural world immediately surrounding him in the Allegheny National Forest, and just as frequently, from more distant locations. Hardly considering himself a plein air artist, he paints outdoors on-site only in preliminary stages. Even a tiny gouache painting begun outdoors is only finished after being reworked in his studio.

Among other private and public commissions (including for the states of Maine, Minnesota and Montana), he was commissioned to paint four seven-foot-high canvases for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; a thirty-two-foot long canvas for Central Lakes College in Minnesota; an eleven-foot painting for the State Office Building in St. Paul; and paintings for the collection of the opulent Queen Mary 2 ocean liner.

He is the recipient of awards and honors including visiting artist residencies at the American Academy in Rome, the Millay Colony, McNamara Foundation, the Aegean Arts and Cultural Exchange (Greece), three U.S. national parks (Acadia, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain), Blue Mountain Center, and in Miami on a three-year Residency-Fellowship at the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. He presented lectures in locations in Greece when his paintings were installed at the U.S. embassy in Athens in 2006, and gave talks at the University of Wales in Cardiff, and at Plymouth College in Exeter, England, as well as a few colleges and museums in the U.S.

The book Thomas Paquette: Gouaches was published in 2007 to accompany a traveling museum exhibition of his gouache paintings. More recently, On Nature's Terms: Paintings by Thomas Paquette commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, a solo exhibition inspired by wilderness areas all around the country, traveled throughout 2014 and 2015 to museums in California, Indiana and New York. A 40-page catalogue was produced for this show.

Paquette's solo exhibition in 2015 at the Rockwell Museum in Corning, NY, was the occasion for the eponymously titled 100-page catalogue Touching on Water: Paintings by Thomas Paquette.

In 2018 and 2019, an exhibition titled Thomas Paquette: America's River Re-Explored: Paintings from the Mississippi from Source to Gulf, traveled to three museums: Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Watermark Art Center, and Dubuque Museum of Art. The 84-page catalogue of the same title accompanied this.

Other past solo museum exhibitions include Erie Art Museum, Georgia Museum of Art, Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

Forty of his paintings have been selected for exhibitions in (and in some cases, the permanent collections of) twenty U.S. embassies on five continents, including embassies in Amman, Athens, Brussels NATO, Moscow, Ottawa, Rome, St. Petersburg, Santiago, Taipei, and Vienna. His paintings are in numerous private, corporate, and public collections.

To see interviews, reviews, articles on Thomas Paquette, visit the Reviews/Publications page.

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