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A Painting Of A Father And Child.

Tom Feelings (1933-2003)

Tom Feelings, a native of Brooklyn, New York, attended the school of Visual Arts for two years and then joined the Air Force in 1953, working in London as a staff artist for the Graphics Division of the Third Air Force. In 1958, he created a weekly comic strip, Tommy Traveler in the World of Negro History, which ran in The New York Age, a Harlem-based newspaper.

Feelings traveled to Ghana and Guyana early in his career, and spent his time in both countries illustrating, teaching, and consulting. When he returned from his first trip to Africa, he began illustrating books with African and African-American themes. To Be a Slave, a non-fiction children’s book written by Julius Lester and illustrated by Feelings, was chosen as the 1969 Newberry Honor Book.  It was the first book of its kind to receive such an award.  He illustrated twenty books in his career.

The School of Visual Arts recognized Feelings with its Outstanding Achievement Award in 1974. He has received eight Certificates of Merit from The Society of Illustrators, along with a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship Grant in 1982. 

Feelings produced primarily drawings or understated watercolors of figurative subjects.  While in Africa, he worked for Africa Review,  established in 1971 as a journal discussing African politics, development and international affairs.  When in the United States, Feelings exhibited at the Brooklyn Fulton Art Fair; Atlanta University; Morgan State College; Park Village Gallery, (solo); and the Market Place Gallery, NYC.  Recent exhibitions of his work have included: Creating Community. Cinque Gallery Artists on view May 3–July 4, 2021 at the Art Students League, NY; Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards, Orlando Museum of Art, FL and Columbia Museum of Art, SC, 2019.

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