Photo by Michael A Joseph
Thomas Joseph was born in Saint Louis, Missouri and as the son of a military surgeon, traveled throughout the Far East and the United States, and attended elementary school in Japan. Grounded in childhood years in Japan, spent wandering through rice paddies, bamboo forests, and temples, Thomas developed a love of the diversity of people and nature.
He attended the University of Colorado for a Bachelors Degree in painting and English, and the University of Southern Illinois for a Master of Fine Arts Degree in painting and art history. After graduation when four crates of his paintings were mistakenly shipped to San Francisco Thomas promptly decided the hand of fate was pointing the way and followed his paintings West.
Living in the city his paintings and serigraphs were primarily figurative and explored the mystery and burlesque of the human condition. While searching for an opportunity to integrate art into a psychiatric setting Thomas met Dr. Robert Rubenstein, then Chief of Psychiatry at Mount Zion Hospital, and Joan and Erik Erikson. Subsequently he was invited to join them in creating an arts workshop for the hospital's Adolescent Psychiatric Unit there. He maintained a studio at the Marin Headlands and worked with David Ireland in the establishment of the Marin Headlands Center for the arts in the 1980's.
He currently works out of studios on farms in Illinois and on the Eastern Coast of Canada with his wife and two wonderful dogs.