Born in Chicago, IL, Tom Seghi studied painting and printmaking at the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his MFA in 1969. After graduation, Seghi traveled and taught art at various schools, including Elmhurst College, College of Dupage, and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Eventually, he married and settled down in St. Louis, MO where he taught at Washington University and established himself as a landscape painter.
For many years,” Seghi said, “I painted the flat, Midwestern plains with their all-inclusive, dynamic skies. That landscape offered me an endless source of inspiration and energy.”
In 1988, Seghi and his family moved to Miami Beach where he renewed his enthusiasm for painting after discovering the recently founded South Florida Art Center on Lincoln Road in South Beach. He took an active leadership role during those early years of Lincoln Road, teaching part-time and painting full-time. His Midwestern landscapes immediately transformed into a totally new palette and vision, based primarily on the pastel colors and tropical forms of South Florida. With his new found love of sailing, he also enjoyed the magnificent waters surrounding Miami.
“My landscapes became oceanscapes,” Seghi said. “Eventually they evolved into abstracted images full of play and spontaneity.”
Through the pure play of Seghi’s painting, recurring subjective shapes appeared, ultimately yielding the images of apples and pears. At first the images were painted loosely and whimsically. Ultimately, though, they took on a more serious and purified presence until they emerged with the clarity of photo-realism.
It was during this development of Seghi’s work that galleries and collectors began to take significant notice of his work. Seghi’s first one man show was at Hokin Gallery in Palm Beach, FL, followed by many others around the country.
Seghi has developed a unique, refined range of paintings of fruit forms. Occasionally he has drifted into painting other subjects, such as artist tools and found objects, but his primary loyalty has been the painting of apples and pears. The irony in this enormous body of consistent work is that they still appear as landscape… landscape with a large pear in the middle.
“I feel I have come full circle,” Seghi claims. “In a sense, I’ve come home to my original love of landscape. It’s a private experience, personal and reassuring. People have often asked me, ‘Aren’t you getting tired of painting pears and apples?’ My only response is ‘No, I feel like I’ve just begun.”
As Tom's art came full circle, so did his life when he tragically passed away on July 10th, 2011 in Chicago, the city he was born. Although he died before his time, his art career was complete, spanning over four decades, and including many different genres. Tom's legacy is carried on in his artwork, and with all those whose lives he touched.