Nice to meet you, Tom McGlynn

What did you want to be growing up? “An astronaut, marine biologist, artist. I always assumed I would do something that would allow me to interpret my wonder at the world. When you are a child you do so more or less unselfconsciously. The challenge when you grow up is to re-visit that sense of wonder intentionally.”

Who or what is your inspiration?

“I’d have to say that my Mother was a big power of example in that she made paintings. Visual cues also would set me off. An example was this gigantic, about the size of a football field, Abstract Expressionist ceramic painting piece that was installed on the facade of a store called Alexanders in a New Jersey Mall. The monumentality of the gesture was thrilling.”

Who is you favorite artist and why?

“.Jackson Pollock is a very important influence in his total approach to painting. Mark Rothko is important in his belief that pure abstraction is enough to approach a spiritual experience. The Minimalist artists like Sol Lewitt and Donald Judd inspire with their bare- bones approach.”

What are your hobbies?

“I have been known to fish, although not so much recently. Ice-skating with my wife and eight year old daughter is always fun. Going to art and music events with my friends and family. Reading all sorts of books.”

What is one unique or interesting thing about you?

“When I was nine, upon taking apart a top- click ballpoint pen, the momentum of the mechanism sent a spring right through my pinkie finger so that it looked like one of those gag arrow- through- the- head routines. I was famous for a day with my peers and I got the rest of the day off from school.”

Who has made the greatest impact on your life?

“Probably both of my parents in different ways. My mother as I mentioned. my father because his life experience stretched across huge historic and personal changes and his work ethic and humor remained intact. Both of them imparted a deep sense of empathy for my fellow beings.”

Why did you want to become a teacher?

“I had all of this extra knowledge just hanging around and I thought it needed a job. I’m lucky to do something I love and to have the opportunity to share it.

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