Two longtime members of the Studio Art faculty retired in 2021-22, Tom Weaver, after 32 years, and Brian Wood, after 20. They have each helped to shape the department and the program in Studio Art, and they will be missed.
Thomas Weaver received his BA from the University of California Santa Cruz in 1972, and moved to London to pursue graduate studies in sculpture at the St. Martin’s School of Art. After two years in England, he returned to New York, where he received his MFA from Hunter College in 1982. Tom began teaching at Hunter as an adjunct while still a student, and taught sculpture at Hunter as a Visiting Professor and painting at Parsons until 1990, when he joined Hunter’s fulltime faculty. He worked in large scale sculpture and site installations into the early 2000s, and his shaped and constructed paintings in that period reflect a similar interest in built space, perspective, and architectural light. In the new millennium he concentrated on painting, and his work became increasingly referential and figurative; the critic Fredric Koeppel described them as “dream-like and fragmentary narratives of American domestic life.” Over his long career, Tom has had one-person exhibitions at the Walsh Art Gallery at Fairfield University (CT), the Marsh Art Gallery at the University of Richmond (VA), and Condeso/Lawler Gallery and the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle in New York, among other venues.
Tom served as chair of the Department of Art and Art History from 2006 to 2012, and subsequently helped to build and run the BFA program, and to guide its students. He was an important voice in the MFA program for both students and colleagues, and a strong advocate for our curriculum on all levels. We will miss his wisdom, his judiciousness, and his deep institutional memory.
Brian Wood was born and raised on a farm on the prairies of northern Saskatchewan, Canada, where his imagination was formed by the unforgiving environment and the cyclical rhythms of agriculture. He received his BA from the University of Saskatchewan in 1969, where he studied literature, physics, and mathematics. He moved to New York City shortly thereafter, and, in 1975, completed his MA at Hunter College in painting and film, working with filmmaker Hollis Frampton. He was part of the film crew of Michael Snow’s Rameau’s Nephew while at Hunter and screened his own early films at Film Forum in 1975. He began making large-scale photo constructions in the late 1970s and in 1979 the Museum of Modern Art curators John Szarkowski and Susan Kismaric began collecting his photo constructions and his later ink/photo paintings for MoMA’s permanent collection. They immediately placed Brian’s work in MoMA’s public galleries, where his works were on view for most of the next two decades, and also showed other of his works in many of the museum’s exhibitions and publications. Brian went on to exhibit internationally in many galleries and museums.
Brian was a Senior Critic in Photography at Yale from 1992-2002 and returned to Hunter as Professor of Photography in 2002. Over his twenty years at Hunter, Brian served multiple terms on the departmental P&B and as area head for Photography, guiding the area’s curriculum and developing its labs and workspaces. He was a committed teacher and mentor, and an important advocate for Photography at Hunter, not only within the department, but also to the administration.
While the program in Photography at Hunter is centered on the wet darkroom and the techniques of analogue photography, Brian’s own work has always ranged far from the photograph. For some decades he has worked primarily in painting and drawing, works that have been exhibited in New York at Jeannie Freilich Gallery, Zurcher Gallery, Novella Gallery, Arts + Leisure Gallery, the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle, the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and numerous other venues. Brian’s art is represented in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the L. A. County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, and the National Gallery in DC. His many awards include the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the NEA Fellowship, the NYFA Artist Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, and in 2019 Brian was a Rome Prize finalist in painting. Brian’s last semester teaching was Fall 2021, and he has worked these past months to prepare for upcoming exhibitions.