Tom Gormally’s “INTO THE BREACH” comes to SJIMA

Submitted by San Juan Islands Museum of Art

With “INTO THE BREACH Sculptures, Drawings and Prints,” by Tom Gormally brings us serious messages dressed in a bit of humor, a gift of his Irish heritage. The exhibition is now showing at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art in Friday Harbor, WA. Observing the divisiveness in American society, he strives to create a body of work to inspire dialogue and bridge the widening gap not only in our culture but also within his own family.

Some of his sculptures incorporate a fox motif, which can be viewed from two perspectives: an homage to Native American stories of the wily trickster and to a vaudevillian villain whose hijinks are at once horrifying and mesmerizing. Other work incorporates an owl motif, referencing his concern about the loss of fauna in the Pacific Northwest. Yet other works take a playful, yet mournful look at the aging process.

He combines the shamanistic aspect of effigy representation with folk-like carvings, fabrications, and inviting light elements to create more widely accessible pieces representing apt idioms for the current moment.

Gormally’s work is displayed in the Seattle City Light Civic Art Collection, the SAFECO Collection, the Chemical Bank of New York, the Blanden Art Museum Collection, the UNI Permanent Art Collection, and numerous private collections.

In 2021, the Blanden Memorial Art Museum commissioned Gormally to create a permanent public sculpture while doing a Public Art Incubator Artist in Residence at the University of Northern Iowa Sculpture Department (IA). Bettie and the Howling Fox will be installed in front of the Blanden Memorial Art Museum in 2022. Maquettes of Bettie and the Howling Fox are included in Gormally’s SJIMA exhibition.

His press includes reviews in Sculpture Magazine, The New Art Examiner, BBC TV, and BBC radio. His awards include a National Endowment for the Arts/MAAA award for sculpture, an Artist Trust Fellowship, an Allied Arts Foundation Artist Award. Gormally has created site-specific public art pieces around the US.

SJIMA thanks our many sponsors for bringing this captivating art works to SJIMA – The Honeywell Charitable Fund, Anonymous, Town of Friday Harbor, San Juan Island Community Foundation, Orcas Island Community Foundation, Browne’s Home Center, Printonyx and Harbor Rentals.

Admission is $10, with SJIMA members and those 18 and under admitted free. Mondays are Pay As You Can Days. Hours are Friday – Monday 11-5.

SJIMA is located at 540 Spring Street in Friday Harbor, WA. See for more information.