HomeArtist BiographiesArtist Bio: Tom Feelings

Artist Bio: Tom Feelings

b. May 19, 1933
d. August 25, 2003
Birth Place: Brooklyn, NY
Nationality: American
Education: The School of Visual Arts
Signature Medium(s):

Artwork in collection: Middle Passage

Tom Feelings was a skilled artist, illustrator, and cartoonist. His personal journey as an artist began with drawings from his home in Brooklyn, NY. After drawing the faces and places he has seen all is life, he took his developing artistic skills to West and East Africa and finally to Africa. Through his works, he framed the African-American experience and was passionately committed to the mission of encouraging black children to understand their own spiritual and physical beauty.

As a cartoonist, Feelings created the groundbreaking comic strip Tommy Traveler In the World of Black History for the New York Age in 1958 after leaving the Air Force. He also illustrated the NAACP's four color comic for voter registration The Street Where You Live in 1960. In addition to being a successful artist, Feelings is known for publishing several books, with The Middle Passage being his most famous.

Feelings has received numerous awards and achievements including the Distinguished Service to Children through Art award from University of South Carolina and the Visual Artists Fellowship Grant, National Endowment of the Arts. He has received the Coretta Scott King Award for three of his books: The Middle Passage, Soul Looks Back in Wonder, Something on My Mind, as well as a National Book Award nomination for Jambo Means Hello.

Mr. Feelings brought his enormous talents to the Greater Lafayette area in 1997 as part of the TELL Series at Jefferson High School. The Black Cultural Center sponsored this visit.

Artist Statement:
"I bring to my work a quality which is rooted in the culture of Africa and expanded by the experience of being black in America." (Horn Brook Magazine, 1985)