Painter, print maker, teacher, political activist and wordsmith, Tomas Belsky was born on July 4, 1938, in New Brunswick, New Jersey to Russian/Polish immigrant parents. He was the seventh of nine children. "Mama said I was making pictures on the crib walls, so I\'ve been at it awhile." After High School, there was some eye-opening factory work "that inspired higher education.”
With degrees in history, painting and Spanish, Belsky went to Brazil from 1965 to 1968 to work with the United States Peace Corps. It was there that his love of painting became paramount. This was largely due to the influence of naive anists working in favelas (slums) under adverse conditions lacking adequate art supplies.
When time allows, Belsky continues to work with young people locally in public schools, jails, and half-way houses. He uses the creative process to liberate students from numerous forms of anti-social behavior. "What art has done for me, it can do for others." Paintings and prints by Tomas Belsky are collected and treasured worldwide.
Because it is an essentially primal method of pictorial expression, the making of block prints fills a need for premeditated creativity as opposed to the more intuitive spontaneous aspects of oil painting. It also has the advantage of allowing the common citizen to own original works of art at reasonable prices.
Prints are silk screened by hand in limited editions, signed and pinky-printed by the artist. They are enlargements of the original blocks (wood or linoleum) that are smaller in size. All prints are on 60 lb. brown paper with off-black ink. Special editions on white paper are possible upon request. Subject matter is essentially related to the Spirit of Aloha \'Aina -- Love of the Land. This is the philosophy of Polynesia that would do America much good to follow. "We have much to be thankful for in Hawaii, and through my work I try to spread the appreciation for Nature and God\'s blessings."
Tomas lives in Hilo with his lifelong partner Moanikeala Akaka. They have a daughter, son-in-law, and a granddaughter living nearby.