Tom David

Tom was required to repeat first grade. To lift his spirits and to motivate him to try harder, his first grade teacher gave him a large box of Crayola Crayons on his seventh birthday. She would never know that she had launched Tom’s career as an artist. For the next several years Tom spent most of his free time drawing. He still day-dreamed a lot, but was able to focus when it was needed to achieve good results. In fifth grade his art talent was recognized with a one-person show of his work displayed throughout his school. In high school Tom was often called upon to create a piece of art for a special project. Tom graduated from public high school, ranking in the top 25% of his class, earning two academic scholarships to attend a state university as well as an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.

In the fall of 1965 Tom enrolled in Eastern Illinois University. Four years later he graduated having earned a B.S. in Education majoring in studio art with a concentration in pottery and sculpture. Besides creating art, Tom wanted to help young people learn and grow, especially in their understanding and appreciation for the arts. Following graduation he taught art in various public schools in east-central Illinois. After eleven years in the classroom, he was employed as a school administrator, serving first as an elementary principal for four years and then as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources during his last sixteen years in public education. In these leadership positions Tom was a strong advocate for arts, securing art education in the curriculum, providing professional development for both art specialists and general education teachers, and ensuring that art was viewed as relevant and necessary in the lives of children by all stakeholders. During his years in the field of education, Tom continued to attend school earning an M.A. in Art Education and a Specialist Degree in School Administration at Eastern Illinois University and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Illinois. During his years working in the public schools, Tom’s production of art diminished but never stopped.

Gaslight Art Colony is a Not-for-Profit organization dedicated to broadening an appreciation of the Arts by providing opportunities that promote awareness, participation and understanding through fine arts exhibitions, classes and workshops. The gallery is located at 516 Archer Avenue in Marshall, IL. You can contact the gallery through the website, on Facebook: Gaslight Art Colony, by email at or by calling 217-293-1050.


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