In addition to making art, I work as an attorney for an automotive parts manufacturer.  The discipline of manufacturing involves continually pushing to reduce the variances between objects, so that every part that is produced is essentially identical to every other part.  On the other hand, we normally think of art as being one-of-a-kind.  The Regimentsseries of prints involves the tension between these two ways of thinking about the act of creation. 

A fundamental advantage of printmaking as a medium is the ability to make a predictable, repeatable image.  At the same time, working with a printing plate can be seen as limiting the range of possible marks.   In much the same way, the grids upon which all of my work is built can be viewed as both presenting the opportunity to control the location of elements, and also as a restraint on the compositional possibilities.   My work has always involved the ways in which seemingly infinite variety is possible even within a restricted set of possibilities.  I deliberately choose to control certain aspects of the creative process, and give others a bit more flexibility.  What fascinates me are the unpredictable and unique attributes that individual elements continue to assert in a seeming quest to overcome pressures to conform.


Tom Clinton creates collographs with grid-like images to show the beauty in logical construction. The colors and patterns he uses create layers, each coming from an individual decision, yet working together. The interaction between the separate visual elements lends the pieces an individuality or personality, like a family or circle of friends. When seen as a group, the colors and layers interact with each other, and there seems to be a formula or sequence that dictated their creation. Tom uses this as a metaphor for society. There is an inner logic to each grid, a conscious decision made for each creation. Yet, printmaking as a medium also allows for chance, which brings a balance between the planned and the random. As an attorney turned artist, Tom's work reflects some of the influence of his prior profession. Ordered. Edited. Careful.



B. F. A., Kendall College of Art and Design; Concentration in Printmaking

J.D. University of Michigan Law School

B. A., University of Michigan; Concentration in Political Science


Attorney with Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982-1996, 1997-present
Law clerk to the Honorable David E. Nims, Jr., United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan, 1981-2


“Collective”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

“Perception & Intention”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
“Toast”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Everyone in the Pool”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Freshly Considered", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids,

"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Lookie Here", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

“Annual Fall Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“25 Year Gala”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“LG-Group,” LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Power of Pattern”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

“Come Out and Play”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Fall at The Lakeshore", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Opening Celebration", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

"2007-d", Group Exhibition, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 18-June 29

"Five", Group Exhibition, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 31-May 5

"Artfestation", Group Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan May 28-30
Juried Exhibition of Michigan Printmakers, The Print Ann Arbor Art Center Ann Arbor, Michigan, February 4-March 25

"Tactile Surfaces", Group Exhibition, LaFonstsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 8-November 12
Juried exhibition of Michigan printmakers, The Print Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 21-June 20
"Formulas and Sequences", Solo Exhibition, Gainey Gallery, Van Singel Fine Arts Center, Byron Center, Michigan, January 5-30

"75 Year of Alumni", Second place award in juried show of work done by college alumni, Kendall Gallery, Kendall College of Art & Design, Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 10-December 5
"Print Works", Invitational Group Exhibition of local printmakers, Monroe Gallery of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 4-July 26