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In the eighth grade my parents gave me a set of oil paints.  A first attempt at this mysterious medium was rewarded an honorable mention at our community art fair.  It was even exhibited with the big people’s paintings.  That’s a dangerous compliment to offer a child, because ever since that ribbon, I have not put down my brushes.


Any purpose beyond color and composition that I choose to layer within a painting is not necessarily what an audience may read or feel. Each viewer holds his or her own personal relationship to an image. When recognition occurs, mutual gratitude results. 


As the Romantic poet, John Clare wrote, “Language has not the power to speak what love indites, the soul lies buried in the ink that writes.”  So too it is with paint.


TR Colletta























            2023   deYoung Museum - San Francisco - The deYoung Open

            2022   Crocker Art Museum - Sacramento, CA 

            2020   deYoung Museum - San Francisco - The deYoung Open

            2016   Caldwell Snyder - San Francisco, CA

            2015   Blue 7 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA - Food for Thought

            2013   Skidmore Contemporary Art – Santa Monica

            2013   Campton Gallery – New York, NY

            2013   Sue Greenwood Fine Art – Laguna Beach, CA

            2011   Sue Greenwood Fine Art – Laguna Beach, CA

            2010   Campton Gallery – New York, NY

            2005   San Francisco International Art Expo – San Francisco, CA

            2004   San Francisco International Art Expo – San Francisco, CA  

            2003   Caldwell Snyder Gallery 20th Anniversary Show – San Francisco, CA

            1998   Powell Street Gallery - San Francisco, CA

            1993   Three for the Third - Peel Gallery, Danby, VT

            1991   Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts Annual (CAFA)

            1991   Copley Society Portrait Show - Boston, MA

            1991   Carriage House Gallery Portrait Show - Guilford, CT

            1990   CAFA Annual

            1989   The Connecticut Vision - Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT

            1989   CAFA Annual

            1988   Glastonbury Art Exhibit - 2nd Prize - Glastonbury, CT

            1988   CAFA Annual

            1987   CAFA Annual

            1986   Mystic Maritime Gallery Invitational -  Mystic, CT

            1986   85th Annual New Haven Paint & Clay Exhibit - New Haven, CT

            1985   Greene Art Gallery - Guilford, CT

            1985   CAFA Annual

            1984   Americana Show - Greenwich Workshop Gallery - Greenwich, CT

            1984   83rd Annual New Haven Paint & Clay Exhibit - New Haven, CT

            1982   National Juried Exhibition - Terrance Gallery - Palenville, NY 

            1982   Green Art Gallery - Guilford, CT

            1982   Hartford Show - Artworks Gallery, Hartford, CT

            1979   Connecticut Painters & Sculptors Annual - Stamford, CT








            2018   Hartford Public Library - Hartford, CT

            2013   Campton Gallery – New York, NY

            2011   Evan Lurie Gallery – Carmel, IN

            2010   Caldwell Snyder Gallery – San Francisco, CA

            2008   Campton Gallery – New York, NY

            2007   Campton Gallery – New York, NY

            2006   Caldwell Snyder Gallery – San Francisco, CA           

            2005   Trajan Gallery – Carmel, CA

            2005   Caldwell Snyder Gallery – New York, NY

            2004   Trajan Gallery – Recent Works and Lecture – Carmel, CA

            2003   Caldwell Snyder Gallery – San Francisco, CA

            2002   Caldwell Snyder Gallery – New York, NY

            1995   Romantic Realist - Colleen Yoho Gallery, San Francisco, CA

            1994   Angels in San Francisco - Spectrum Gallery, San Francisco, CA

            1991   Peel Gallery - Danby, VT

            1989   Boston Remembered -  Haley & Steele, Boston, MA

            1986   Hartford Arts Council Award Exhibit, Jubilee 350 - Hartford, CT

            1985   Visions of Yesteryear - Fairfield University, CT

            1983   Central Arizona Chapter of the AIA – Phoenix, AZ

            1983   The Meeting House - Hartford, CT

            1980   Different Drummer Gallery - Hartford, CT

            1980   Widener Gallery, Trinity College - Hartford, CT

            1979   Different Drummer Gallery - Hartford, CT












            2012 - January - AMERICAN ART COLLECTOR – #75

            2011 - Nov/Dec. - VERANDA MAGAZINE - article title: Fresh Vision

            2011 - September 7 - THE DAILY NEW CANAAN - Town Hall installation

            2010 - Spring Issue - ARTWORKS magazine - TR COLLETTA interview/article

            2008 - September - AMERICAN ART COLLECTOR – #35

            2008 - September - ARTNEWS – Exhibition announcement

            2007 - April - ARTNEWS – Exhibition announcement

            2005 - February - IN NEW YORK:  Here & Now – TR Colletta at Caldwell Snyder

            2005 - June – CALIFORNIA HOME AND DESIGN:  The Beauty of Taking Work Home

            2003 - June – ARTNEWS:  City Focus – San Francisco

            2003 - July/Aug – FAMILY CHRONICLE magazine:  Ellis Island

            2002 - March – ARTNEWS:  Exhibition announcement

            1998 - Winter – AMBASSADOR MAGAZINE-The Artistry of American Icons – TR Colletta

            1995 - December – USA TODAY

            1994 - September –FRONTIERS Magazine - San Francisco:  Angels in San Francisco

            1991 - May – The Stamford Advocate                            

            1991 - December – The Hartford Courant:  "TR Colletta - Structural Artistry"

            1991 - February – The Glastonbury Citizen

            1987 - March – Gannett Westchester News

            1985 - August – The Catholic Transcript

            1985 - September – New Britain Herald – South Church Commission

            1985 - September – Fairfield Citizen News

            1985 - September – The Advocate – Fairfield County:  Visions of Yesteryear

            1985 - September – New Haven Register:  TR Colletta at Fairfield University

            1984 - April – Fairfield Citizen News:  Americana Show – Greenwich Workshop

            1982 - November – The Hartford Courant

            1980 - October – The Hartford Courant

            1979 - November – The Hartford Courant












Thomas R Colletta was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in the nearby Town of Tonawanda.  American/German mother, whose ancestors entered the United States in the early 1800’s.  Italian/American father, who entered through Ellis Island at age six in 1921. 


Thomas received his first set of oil paints in 1966. His first canvas received an award in a community art exhibition, prompting a life-long journey at the easel. In High School he studied piano and composition, while playing French Horn in the school band and orchestra. In 1971, Thomas accepted his first organist position at First Presbyterian in the City of Tonawanda, NY.


At the State University of New York College at Buffalo, though entering as a history major, Thomas graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Graphic Design. These years were also filled with lessons in Classical Pipe Organ and Bagpipes, while his paintings explored a variety of subjects. 


Upon graduation in 1974, Thomas became Technical Director for the Charles Burchfield Center in Buffalo, NY, where he designed exhibits, brochures, and promotional material. In 1975 he became a professional photographer for the Longin Studio in Niagara Falls, NY. During these years his passion for painting prompted several solo trips to Europe, where he could experience and absorb the many great masterpieces of Western Art and Architecture.


After moving to Hartford, Connecticut in 1978, Thomas devoted himself to painting full time. He began gallery representation, while accepting illustration commissions from publishing firms in Boston and New York. Thus far, his time at the easel was entirely self-taught. Almost exclusively his canvases depicted historic, urban landscapes - aptly titled by one critic: “pictorial time machines.”  His first exhibition in 1979 was recently bestowed, in total, to the Hartford Public Library. Thomas also continued to expand his music world. He accepted the position of Organist and Music Director for Saint Mary’s R.C. Church in New Britain, CT and sang with the professional chorus, CONCORA.


Color became a much stronger focus in his work after a seminar with New Hampshire artist, Peter Granucci in 1986. The next year Thomas tutored with renown portrait painter, Richard Whitney, a former pupil of R.H. Ives Gammell, exponent of the Boston School of Visual Impressionism. TR's subject matter then expanded beyond urban scenes to portraiture and figurative work as well.


After leaving Connecticut and spending a year in New York City, Thomas moved to San Francisco in 1992. His work was now exhibited in galleries and art fairs on both coasts. He auditioned for the San Francisco Symphony Chorus with whom he is honored to share a Grammy for their 1994 recording of the Brahms’ Requiem. 


In 1996 he began a series of paintings, which focused on objects that accented American culture throughout the 20th century. Exploring the possibilities of expressing these objects in paint continues to entertain his easel today. Some of these objects have offered him the opportunity to also include subtle commentary, usually veiled in the title. Recently, his repertoire has grown to include "stamp" paintings. They have presented TR with the opportunity to unite a representational image with the extemporaneous, abstract application of paint. 


Thomas, gratefully, lives and works in beautiful San Francisco, California.


Represented by SKIDMORE CONTEMPORARY ART in Palm Desert, CA.




TR Colletta in the Studio.jpg
Ambassador Magazine 1998.jpg
TR & Maggie in the Studio.jpg
TR Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco.jpg
American Art Collector #75 1-2012  TR Co
NYC 2008_edited.jpg
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