Tom R. Chambers
Tom R. Chambers is a photographer, visual artist (digital/new media and mixed media), curator and educator with over 100 personal exhibitions worldwide. He has also curated numerous exhibitions in the U.S.A., Zimbabwe, China and India.
He is currently working with the pixel as Suprematist/Minimalist Art, Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square” and Suprematism. His "My Dear Malevich" project has received international acclaim, and it was shown as a part of “Suprematism Infinity: Reflections, Interpretations, Explorations”, Atrium Gallery, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York City, New York (December 1, 2015 - January 22, 2016) and in conjunction with the "100 Years of Suprematism" conference, Shapiro Center, Columbia University, New York City (December 11 - 12, 2015) (Organized in celebration of the centenary of Kazimir Malevich’s invention of Suprematism and the first public display of his Suprematist paintings in December, 1915.).
Chambers curated the two-person (him and Max Semakov [Moscow, Russia]) exhibition, “Black Square Interpretations and Other Suprematist Explorations”, which was shown at the CaviArt Gallery, Russian Cultural Center, Houston, Texas (March 6 - April 7, 2015). A portion of this exhibition was also shown as a part of “Post Scriptum 100 + 8”, OMG Gallery, Moscow, Russia (June 8 - July 8, 2015) (Chambers came together with seven Russian artists in Moscow to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Suprematism [1915-2015].).
He was Visiting Lecturer in Digital/New Media Art for the Fine Arts Department, Zhaoqing University, Zhaoqing, China (2005 – 2007). He joined the department to develop and teach a digital/new media art program. He also curated numerous student exhibitions.
While in China, he developed his “Tom Series” project, which has been shown in eighteen exhibitions worldwide (2006- 2015) (Chambers utilizes the self-portrait to project his life experiences. His portrait remains constant with the experience [situation] indicated as a change or flux in the image. The accompanying text details his experience with the inclusion of links to the Internet for additional information. The project is not only an artwork about Chambers' life - biography (visual/textual) - but also a reference tool, a study of history through his existence.).
Chambers 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. The workshop culminated in the exhibition, “NMA@NID” (2006) (The no-constraints workshop encouraged self-expression through computer technology within a fine arts context. According to Chambers, art created via new media should follow traditional conventions in the sense of appreciation for existing foundations and their various art movements. An overview of the exhibition sees an emotional component and search for truth that permeate the fine arts.).
He was Executive Committee Member and Juror for the International Digital Art Awards (IDAA)(2003-2005). He was instrumental in expanding the content of the IDAA to include new media art, and served as online 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 also invited by the Fine Arts Department, New Media Art, Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China to give a retrospective lecture, “Dyer Street Portraiture to Pixelscapes” (April 8, 2005).
Chambers was on the faculty for Photo-Seminars.com (no longer online). His documentary portraiture lesson is featured at Profotos.com and others. He organized and curated two hyperlinked photo exhibitions for the PhotoForum membership under the auspices of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), New York.
He completed a three-year tour as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in the Arts (curator/archivist and initiator/instructor [“The McEwen Photographic Studio”; curated the student exhibitions, "Moments In Time", "Moments In Time II", and "Moments In Time III"]) for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe (1993-1995). He was instrumental in writing grant proposals and receiving funding to computerize the gallery’s Permanent Collection information. He also curated numerous exhibitions from the Permanent Collection.
Chambers was invited by the gallery to exhibit “Variations on the Dan Mask” (Chambers used an African Traditional mask from the Dan Tribe in Eastern Liberia [a piece from the Permanent Collection: PC - 6400 – 0147] as the object for the photogram, then manipulated the non-exposed area generated from this original mask form to vary the look.) (December 1995; officially opened by the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe).
While in Zimbabwe, he also received a U.S. Government Grant via the United States Information Service (USIS), Harare to exhibit “Southwest Of Rusape: The Mucharambeyi Connection” 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).
His tribute piece (mixed media/interactive work), “Mother's 45s” was selected through national search for exhibition as a part of the “Parents” show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio (catalogue #: ISBN #0-932706-20-7) (1992). This work was also shown at Gallery One, Providence, Rhode Island (1990).
American Photo magazine listed one of his documentary projects, “Dyer Street Portraiture” in the Notable Exhibitions section of its March, 1986 issue ("The black-and-white images record a diversity of common people in an 4 urban habitat with an ambiance of film noir.").
Chambers founded and directed a not-for-profit, photographic arts organization and gallery, “Viewpoint”, Lubbock, Texas (American Photo magazine reviewed one of the exhibitions at the gallery in its April, 1983 issue) (1982-1983). He also founded and directed a not-for-profit, photographic arts organization, “Photoreach”, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. (1990).
His documentary project, “Descendants 350” was shown throughout Rhode Island, and accepted by the Secretary of State (Rhode Island) as a part of the Rhode Island State Archives Permanent Collection (1990) ( The project received a Governor's [Rhode Island] Proclamation).
Chambers was listed (1984-1991) in the Artists-In-Education roster with the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts (RISCA), 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 to determine funding for residency programs.
He provided documentation of the homeless and poor (Rhode Island Food Bank, 1986), the elderly (Brown University and the Andrus Foundation/American Association for Retired Persons, 1987), and city life and politics (Executive Office of the Mayor, Providence, Rhode Island). He also provided documentation for the Rhode Island Delegation at the Democratic National Convention, Atlanta, Georgia (1988), which culminated in the exhibition, “Hot City” (American Photo magazine listed the exhibition in the Notable Exhibitions section of its July, 1989 issue.). Chambers returned to Providence in 2016 to mount the exhibition, "Retro Providence: 1985-1990", which showcased 60 photographs from the "Tom R. Chambers Photo Collection", City Archives.
Chambers conducted Polaroid workshops for at-risk, inner-city youth in Providence, Rhode Island for Metro Arts, and served as an advisory panelist for the organization (1986-1990). He also produced and directed visual arts/performance arts presentations, “VP90” (“Release”) and “CYSX2” as a part of First Night Providence, Providence, Rhode Island (1989-1991).
He worked with Harvey J. Bott (Loft on Strand) to document his sculpture and assemblages. He also had a two-person show with Bott providing his (Chambers’) perspective on the sculptor’s "Fetal Form" series, “Tom Chambers Looks at H.J. Bott”, Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Texas (1974).