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Western Spirit offers an exhibition of contemporary western artist Tom Gilleon

photo of Tom Gilleon art
Before dedicating himself to fine art in the 1990s, Mr. Gilleon was an accomplished illustrator who worked on NASA’s Apollo and Saturn space programs and then embarked on a successful career with Walt Disney Imagineering, where he was mentored by several of their master artists. (Photo Courtesy of Western Spirit/DigitalFreePress)
The work of Tom Gilleon comes to Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is announcing the debut of Inner Light: The Art of Tom Gilleon, which celebrates a painter who has become one of the most respected masters in contemporary Western art.

Before dedicating himself to fine art in the 1990s, Mr. Gilleon was an accomplished illustrator who worked on NASA’s Apollo and Saturn space programs and then embarked on a successful career with Walt Disney Imagineering, where he was mentored by several of their master artists.

The exhibition opens on Jan. 16, and will continue through August 2024.

Inner Light: The Art of Tom Gilleon features luminescent colors and authentic portrayals of Native Americans and iconic Western structures and landscapes.

The exhibition presents a 70-painting career retrospective featuring 12 original paintings on special loan from Walt Disney Imagineering. Mr. Gilleon worked alongside Walt Disney Imagineering art legend Herb Ryman and other greats, and his art helped develop the concepts for Imagineering’s projects worldwide.

Inner Light: The Art of Tom Gilleon is co-curated by Tim Peterson, Western Spirit Trustee, and Richard King of KingArts art agency, in collaboration with Western Spirit.

The work of Tom Gilleon comes to Wester Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Noted writer, Gilleon collector, and friend Patrick Hemingway described Mr. Gilleon’s sophisticated use of colors as “magical elegance” and compared him to modern greats Edward Hopper and Mark Rothko.

In addition to showcasing paintings created throughout Mr. Gilleon’s Western art career, the exhibit also presents the world premiere of Spirit Catcher, his stunning 22-minute digital painting triptych that magically morphs before viewers’ eyes, created with former Disney Imagineer and concept designer Marshall Monroe of Marshall Monroe Magic.

Western Spirit’s CEO and Executive Director Todd Bankofier says the work of Mr. Gilleon is one-of-a-kind experience for lovers of western art.

“Tom Gilleon’s mastery of light and the emotional resonance it brings to his art is remarkable,” he said. “Inner Light is a testament to his profound ability to infuse his creations with the very essence of the American West, inviting viewers to explore hidden treasures of the soul within the landscapes we often take for granted.”

For Mr. Peterson, the Gillion exhibition is a feather in the cap for Western Spirit in Old Town Scottsdale.

“The Tom Gilleon retrospective will be a major exhibition by one of the greatest living American artists today,” notes Tim Peterson. “His artistic odyssey is a brilliant fusion of nature, light, and spirit that transcends traditional artistic boundaries.”

Inner Light: The Art of Tom Gilleon promises to be an immersive experience, allowing visitors to delve into the heart of the American West and discover a world where nature and the human spirit are harmoniously intertwined.

Wall signage throughout the show features Mr. Gilleon’s own words, explaining his life and work directly to museum visitors.

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