BiographyTom Andrew Maakestad was born in 1957 and raised in rural Northfield, Minnesota in a family of artists. His father, John, was an artist who taught at St. Olaf College for 37 years. Tom graduated from Luther College in 1980 with a B.A. in art and continued his studies at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His talent was recognized early on when he received a purchase award from the Jerome Foundation’s Young Minnesota Artists juried exhibit in 1980. Since 1981 he has worked as an artist and designer, including seven years in Hong Kong (1985-1992) where he was creative director for Reed International, a publishing company and trade show firm. In 1992 he established his own business, Maakestad Design Office in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota.
Maakestad is a prolific artist and active exhibitor with over 50 shows to his credit since 1993. His work has been repeatedly featured in solo exhibitions at the both the Groveland Gallery and the Suzanne Kohn Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the Grace Chosy Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin. He has also had solo shows at the American Club of Hong Kong and at Luther College. His work can be found in over 30 corporate and institutional collections, including the University of Minnesota; Lutheran Brotherhood; 3M; Unisys Corporation; Wells Fargo Bank; US Bank; University of Minnesota Hospitals; Kimberly Clark Paper Company; and Wisconsin Public Power, to name only a few. In 2008 he won the Utrecht Award at the Plein Air Festival in Door County, Wisconsin. He was also selected for an artist fellowship at Künstler Haus, Salzburg, Austria in July, 2009.
He says of his work: “I am attracted to the land and its patterns, colors and emotions. My interest derives from the geography of Southern Minnesota where I spent my childhood. The places I paint are ones in which the land is the story and man is just a player. I limit buildings but I include shapes of fields and roads. I tend to filter my compositions and pick my subject matter based on the right set of visual circumstances: ones which build a solid foundation for color and light to play well on the surface of the work.” Additional information about the artist is available at web.mac.com/tommaakestad/iWeb/site.
There are six works by Tom Maakestad in the Luther College Fine Arts Collection, all given by the artist. They include four oil pastel drawings: Chasing Down the Wind; Turbulence Still; Northfield Landscape; and Oneota Valley; one watercolor: Oneota Valley Study; and one oil painting: Wisconsin Farmstead, which was part of “Celebrating Connections: Forty Years of Artistic Dialogue,” a 2008 exhibit at Luther College that featured the work of Douglas Eckheart and selected alumni artists on the occasion of Eckheart’s retirement from teaching at Luther.
Source of BiographyArtist Profile, Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis; Arts & Entertainment, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sept. 9, 2001