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Thomas Robert Seawell passed away Aug. 28, 2015, in his home in Sterling, N.Y.
He was born March 17, 1936, in Baltimore, Md., to Robert James Seawell and Cynthia Edith Bass. He spent his childhood in Columbia, S.C., and moved to St. Louis in 1948. He received his art education at Washington University-St. Louis and Texas Christian University. He taught for two years at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark. In 1963 he was hired by SUNY Oswego to establish a fine art printmaking program for the art department. He taught there until his retirement in 1992. During his tenure at Oswego, he was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, the SUNY system’s highest form of recognition for teaching. In 1992 he moved to Commerce where his wife, Barbara Frey, teaches ceramics at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Thereafter, they spent the academic year in Texas and summers in Sterling, N.Y. From 1992 through Spring 2014, he taught screen printing and beginning printmaking classes as an adjunct instructor at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Thomas Seawell is particularly well known for his screen prints and collagraphs and has been recognized as one of the earliest practitioners of the collagraph medium. His work is defined by a variety of noteworthy series, including Family Album, States and Provinces, The Streets, Empty Centers, Variations on Themes of Jacques Callot, the Art Doors project, and a series of images of stock exchanges and trading floors commissioned by Geldermann, Inc. of Chicago.
Thomas Seawell’s work can be found in many public, private, and corporate art collections. His work is archived in the Artist Printmaker Research Collection at The Museum of Texas Tech University.
During his long career as an artist and teacher, Thomas Seawell demonstrated an unwavering passion for art and love for teaching. He has touched many lives through the art he has created and has inspired numerous students in their quest to become artists and teachers of art. He will be remembered for his zest for life, his devotion to art, his love of music and travel, his wide repertoire of great stories, and his sense of humor and wit.
Thomas Seawell is survived by his wife, Barbara Louise Frey of Commerce; their son, Jay Turner Frey Seawell of Washington, D.C.; three sons from his previous marriage to Eva Jo Bradford, James Bradford Seawell of Cambridge, Mass., Lee Thomas Seawell of Syracuse, N.Y., and Gustin Charles Seawell of St Louis, Mo.; his dear sister, Nancy Jo Brown of Longmont, Colo.; nieces Cindy Poinsett, Cara Frihauf, and Jana Schulder; and nephew David Brown.
The Frey-Seawell family wishes to thank Hospice of the Finger Lakes for their devoted care of Thom.
Sugar and Scanlon Funeral Home of Oswego, N.Y., has care of the arrangements. There will not be a funeral. A memorial will be scheduled for a future date.
Online condolences may be made at www.sugarscanlonfuneralhome.com and www.commercejournal.com.
Published on  September 3, 2015
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