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Tom Joyce Biography

Tom Joyce is a sculptor, originally trained as a blacksmith in his youth, and widely acknowledged as one of the foremost practitioners in the field for his ongoing contributions to the art and science of forging iron. His works examine the cultural, political, environmental, and historical implications of using iron as a primary medium. Collaborative relationships with industrial forging and foundry facilities allow him to expand his concerns and observations expressed through multimedia installations, immersive soundscapes, video projections, photography, and through materials that have inherited specific histories from prior use.

Awards of merit include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; United States Artists Fellowship; Aileen Osborn-Webb Award; Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts; Distinguished Artist of the Year Award from Rotary International Foundation for the Arts; and most recently, a Curatorial Award for Excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators for his role as lead curator of the internationally touring exhibition, Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Joyce was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art and granted residencies at UNM’s Tamarind Institute and John Michael Kohler’s Art/Industry Program.

Public collections include the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Detroit Institute of Art; New Mexico Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum; Luce Foundation Center for American Art; Mint Museum of Art; National Metal Museum; Boston Museum of Fine Art; and Yale University Art Gallery.

Exhibiting internationally since 1981, Joyce’s works have been shown at the National Museum of Wales; Graf-Zeppelin Haus, Friedrichshafen, Germany; Exposicion Centro, Guadalajara, Mexico; Lounais-Suomen Käsi-ja Taideteollisuusoppilaitos, Mynämäki, Finland; Museum of Applied Arts, Moscow; and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.

For nearly five decades, Joyce has offered training in metal arts for New Mexico youth and organized multi-year apprenticeships for domestic and international students in the art of forging iron. Since the first invitation to lecture on his work in 1983, Joyce has taught and presented in over 100 institutions, universities, and college campuses throughout the United States and abroad. Among them, Boston University; California College of the Arts; Cleveland Institute of Art; Columbia University; Corcoran School of the Arts and Design; Cranbrook Academy of Art; Dartmouth College; Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University; Ohio University; University of Iowa; University of Minnesota; University of Wisconsin; Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art; and UCLA’s Fowler Museum of Cultural History.

As keynote speaker, Tom has lectured at conferences and symposia in Canada, Czech Republic, Belgium, England, Finland, France, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, and Wales.

Born, William Thomas Joyce, in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1956, he moved to El Rito, New Mexico in 1974 and established his studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1977.

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