Tom Chambers
Since the beginning
chambersdva@yahoo.com
Works in Zhaoqing China

PORTFOLIO (10)
BIO
Tom R. Chambers is currently Visiting Lecturer in Digital/New Media Art for the Fine Arts Department at Zhaoqing University, Zhaoqing, China. He joined the Department to develop and teach a Digital/New Media Art Program and since the beginning of the 2005 academic year, he and his students have collaborated with Beijing Film Academy (Beijing, China), Art Institute of Boston (Boston, Massachusetts, USA), Maine College of Art (Portland, Maine, USA), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, New York, U.S.A.), National Chengchi University (Taipei, Taiwan), Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.) and University of Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.) in joint student exhibitions, off- and on-line.

He was invited by the National Institute of Design [NID] in Ahmedabad, India to conduct a three-week, New Media Art workshop for its New Media Design graduate students, July 10 - 28, 2006. The workshop culminated in the exhibition, NMA@NID. He also exhibited his work, Kites for Gandhi along with the students' works.

Chambers is Executive Committee Member and Juror (2003 - 2005) for the International Digital Art Awards (IDAA). He was instrumental in expanding the content of the IDAA to include New Media Art, and served as on-line New Media Director (2004 - 2005). He was also instrumental in helping to bring the 2005 IDAA Exhibition to Beijing, China under the auspices of the Beijing Film Academy.

He was invited by the Fine Arts Department, New Media Art, Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China, April 8, 2005 to give a retrospective lecture, Dyer Street Portraiture to Pixelscapes. This thirty-year retrospective took a look at Chambers' evolution from conventional documentary photography to his current work with digital and new media art.

Chambers has been a Documentary Photographer/Visual Artist for over thirty years, and he is currently working with the pixel as Minimal Art (Pixelscapes) which begins to approach a true, abstract, visual language in Digital Art. His Pixelscapes have not only been exhibited as a part of the IDAA exhibitions (Juror invitation, 2003 - 2005), but also as a part of the Glass Membrane: Scanner to Screen group show at the Digital Studio, UCR/California Museum of Photography, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A., 2002, Digital Showcase 15, Austin Museum of Digital Art, Austin, TX, U.S.A., 2002 and 6th International Information Visualization Conference, University of London, London, England, 2002. He has over eighty exhibitions, off- and on-line, to his credit.

He is on the Faculty for Photo-Seminars.com. His documentary portraiture lesson is featured at this aforementioned site, Profotos and others. He has also organized and curated two hyperlinked photo exhibitions for the PhotoForum membership under the auspices of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), New York, U.S.A. As he becomes more and more involved with digital generation as an art form, he continues to pick up his well-worn Nikon FE2s to generate conventional documentary projects.

He exhibited his work as a part of a two-person show, Zhao/Chambers Joint Photo Exhibition (The People of Longhu Town: a series of documentary portraits of the Chinese people), at the Library Gallery, Sheng Da College, Zhengzhou, China, 2004.

He exhibited his work as a part of a two-person show, People To People (a series of documentary portraits of the Korean people), at Kumho Art Center, Kwangju, South Korea (1997); and this coverage was accepted as a part of the Kumho Art Foundation Archives Permanent Collection.

He completed a three-year tour (1993-1995) as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa as Art Conservator/Curator for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and as the Initiator/Instructor of The McEwen Photographic Studio for the National Gallery Art School: research/classification and computerization of the National Gallery Permanent Collection to produce a catalogue; and instruction of a fine arts/documentary photography workshop for Black Africans (exhibitions held of the students works: 'Moments In Time' (1993), 'Moments In Time II' (1994) and 'Moments In Time III' (1995) at the National Gallery).

He was invited by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe to exhibit Variations On The Dan Mask (a conceptual look at the African mask form through manipulation of the photogram technique) (December 1995; officially opened by the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe); and he received a U.S. Government Grant via the United States Information Service (USIS), Harare to exhibit Southwest Of Rusape: The Mucharambeyi Connection (a series of documentary portraits of the Black African people) at the USIS Gallery (June-July 1995; officially opened by the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe; and accepted as a part of the USIS Archives Permanent Collection).

He has exhibited his fine arts/documentary work throughout the U.S.A. (over thirty exhibitions), and his mixed media/interactive work, Mother's 45s (a tribute to his mother through a combination of her 45rpm records, family photographs and sound (music from the records)), was selected through national competition for exhibition as a part of the Parents show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A. (1992).

American Photo magazine listed one of his documentary projects, Dyer Street Portraiture (a look at the culture mix on a particular military street in El Paso, Texas, U.S.A.), in its March, 1986 issue. His documentary project, Descendants/350 (a look at Rhode Island (U.S.A.) early history through a combination of portraits of Descendants of the Founding Fathers and historical text), was shown throughout Rhode Island (ten sites) and accepted by the Secretary of State (Rhode Island) as a part of the Rhode Island State Archives Permanent Collection (1990) (received a Governor's (Rhode Island) Proclamation); and his documentary project, In Black And White (a look at Black culture and influence in Rhode Island) was shown and accepted as a part of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society Permanent Collection (Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A.) (1989).

He founded and directed a not-for-profit, photographic arts organization and gallery, Viewpoint, Lubbock, Texas, U.S.A. (American Photo magazine reviewed one of the exhibitions at the gallery in its April, 1983 issue) (1982-1983); and founded and directed a not-for-profit, photographic arts organization, Photoreach, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. (1990).

He was listed (1984-1991) in the Artists-In-Education roster with the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts (RISCA) (U.S.A.), and served as an Advisory Panelist for RISCA to determine funding for residency programs. He also served as an Advisory Panelist for the State of Connecticut Commission on the Arts (U.S.A.) to determine funding for residency programs.

He provided documentation of the homeless and poor in Rhode Island (U.S.A.) for the Rhode Island Food Bank (1986); provided documentation of the elderly in Rhode Island (U.S.A.) for Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A.) and the Andrus Foundation/American Association for Retired Persons (1987); and provided documentation of city life and politics for the Executive Office of the Mayor, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. (also for the Rhode Island Delegation at the Democratic National Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. - 1988), which culminated in the exhibition, Hot City, at the Rhode Island Hospital Trust National Bank, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. (1989) (1985-1990) (received a grant and Mayor's Proclamation).

He conducted Polaroid workshops for at-risk, inner-city youth in Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. for Metro Arts (grants from the Polaroid Foundation); and served as an Advisory Panelist for the organization (1986-1990). And he produced and directed visual arts/performance arts presentations, VP90 (Release) and 'CYSX2' as a part of First Night Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. (1989-1991). in joint student exhibitions, off- and on-line.