"Cultural Surrealist | Visual Artist |Cultural and Women focused Curator | Community Artist Activist | Founder of A PLACE of HER OWN | Past Board President -Asian American Women Artists Association
Cynthia Tom uses visual art as a means to transform our souls. She is a visual mixed-media artist, painter, and curator who likes to play with the accepted norm, tossing non-verbal questions into the air for our consideration. Her art is known as a source of inspiration for healing, empowerment, spirituality, and change, fostering dialog and building community in innovative ways. As a Cultural Curator and Community Art Activist, she is dedicated to artistically integrating cultural roots and community needs to drive Social Change on a heart level.
Surrealism is the platform for her ideas to ruminate and take form, solutions discovered and rich color deeply informs her work. Painting, mixed media, art installation, and curatorial projects are her means of expression.
Driven by a passion for social justice for women, she develops art-based projects and programs designed to transform women and their communities from the inside out. She believes in curating personal and group art exhibitions that challenge accepted societal and cultural norms on multiple levels. A third-generation Chinese American and native San Franciscan, she has been a professional artist for 20+ years, a curator for 10+ and working formally to heal and transform the community through the arts for 6+ years. She is the founder and director of A Place of Her Own, an arts-based healing and transformation program for women.
Often described in terms such as cultural and social surrealism, her work has been exhibited at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, the De Young Museum, Rutgers’s University, Los Gatos Museum of Art, Thoreau Center for Sustainability, SOMArts Cultural Center, Woman Made Gallery - Chicago, Gallery Route One – Pt. Reyes, California Institute of Integral Studies, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Chinese Culture Center, Towers Gallery, to name a few.
She lectures on her work, on issues related to women, feminism in the arts and Asian American women in the arts. She has won numerous awards for her art and leadership, including the ABC/KGO Profiles in Excellence leadership award, The SOMArts Commons Curatorial Fellowship, recognized nationally by NPR Radio in 2010 and 2011, National Association of Professional Women VIP of the Year - 2013. Her art process and pro bono curatorial work with AAWAA have cemented her passion and processes for holding the artistic space for women to heal and transform. Most currently manifested in her long term project, “A PLACE OF HER OWN,” (a culturally informed arts-based healing and transformation project).
Cynthia’s art is a subject of discussion in textbooks, Women Artists’ of the American West, Univ of Purdue, Susan Ressler and a textbook Asian American Art in Post-Colonial Times – University of Padua, by Dr. Laura Fantone, Professor SF Art Institute. For both her art and her work in the community, which are inseparable, she has been featured in the New York Time’s SF Arts Monthly, SF Chronicle, Psychology Today, the Marin Independent Journal, DigitalJournal.com and on KPFA and KPOO radio. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/360847"