Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana Tom Kelly attended Xavier University where he majored in Marketing graduating in 1973. While going to school at Xavier he also took classes, oil painting and life drawing, in the evenings at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
After graduating and traveling Tom Kelly worked in Fort Wayne as a Life Underwriter for Lincoln Life Insurance for three years, 1974-1977. During this time he signed up for a painting class at the Fort Wayne Art School taught by George McCullough. This began a life long association and friend ship with George and his wife Sue.
In 1977 Tom Kelly joined the family business, Kelly Box and Packaging Corp. He continued to take classes by George in the evenings.
Tom Kelly’s art was deeply influenced by George McCullough. With his tremendous talent, dedication and experience, George produced art that has an exceptionally rich colorful portrayal of ourselves and our lives. His painting technique balances spontaneous and deliberate strokes of color and definition of form. His force of expression seems effortlessly attainable, directing the observer in a world of pure vision. The results are images that give enjoyment, delight the eye and illuminate the soul.
From 1975 until his death in 2006 George and Tom painted together. Many of the techniques and style in Tom Kelly’s art can be attributed to George’s influence.
For a story about the last time they painted together click here.