By Brian Goslow
Bristol, RI – The life of Tom McAleer, a much beloved member of the coastal Rhode Island art community, who recently passed away, will be celebrated on October 23 from 5-8 p.m. at Art Night Bristol-Warren’s Summer Season End Celebration at Linden Place, 500 Hope Street, Bristol, Rhode Island. The event will feature a “Plein Air Painter, Tom “Mac” McAleer” solo exhibition, Ten31 Living Renaissance Painter Sculpture, music by Red Eye Flight and works from Amaral Fabrications.
McAleer served on the board of Art Night Bristol-Warren, taught painting classes and made a name for himself as an outsider and plein air artist.
“Most fittingly, Art Night is celebrating the life and art of one of its dedicated members, Tom McAleer,” said Bristol Warren Art Night co-chair Stephan Brigidi. “Tom was a highly prolific and committed member of the Art Night Board. His presence will remain as he has inspired so many within the Rhode Island art community, and his legacy is well marked with so many wonderful paintings. Art Night will exhibit a selection of Tom’s work at the Finale event at Linden Place.”
Brigidi noted that McAleer’s dedication to humanity has been well exemplified by his work with people with disabilities. “His laughter and upbeat attitude in all things serves as the best example for all of us,” he said. “Tom will be sorely missed, but his spirit lives on.”
Friend and co-worker, Seamus O. Hames of Top Drawer Art at The Brass (L.I.F.E. Inc), added, “Tom McAleer was an artist and social visionary whose warmth and generosity became the standards for how an entire community treated the less-fortunate amongst them, lifting them all up to higher levels of compassion and humanity. Tom was the founder of Top Drawer Art At The Brass — originally Top Drawer Art Center, a studio and gallery for adults with developmental disabilities which in its nine short years achieved international acclaim, as well as garnering the love and gratitude of the hundreds of clients that were fortunate enough to work in the program.
Hames said that McAleer’s own paintings were expressionistic exercises in which he took time from his daily schedule to bond with the natural world.
“Joyously tracing its lines and colors with oil paint, always celebrating the Rhode Island landscape and always dancing, Tom was a painter, a sailor, a father, a grandfather, a friend, a storyteller, an observer; one who could never be pinned down, but seemed to be stirred on always by the thoughts of what else he could do to help himself and those who inevitably gathered around him,” said Hames.
“He was a pure soul, one of the kinds that you could only hope to meet in your life, and who you never forget but carry with you always, aspiring to be like if only in pale imitation. He will be greatly missed.”