Former MassArt Professor Recognized in Exhibition

Tom O'Hara, a celebrated modernist, teacher, and pioneer has an exhibition of his work at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, MA. The show is Four Winds: The Arts and Letters of Rocky Neck in the 1950s, and it includes the art and poetry of Gloucester's early art colony, of which O'Hara was a part. It is on view from June 15-September 29. 

Portrait by Irena Roman.

Portrait of Tom O'Hara by Irena Roman."His students loved him for the kindliness and the accuracy of his constructive criticism. In addition, many of those with problems outside the classroom found him a sympathetic listener and a practical advisor," said Meg Hickey, design department chairperson. 

Since his passing in 1984, O'Hara is remembered as one of MassArt's most dedicated professors. He taught illustration for 34 years. During his time at MassArt, he served as the chairman of the illustration department and the coordinator for MassArt's foreign study program. He was devoted to his art, but more importantly, to his students.

O'Hara is highly respected for the 24 years he spent documenting projects and events at NASA. He watched Mercury Atlas rockets take off at Cape Canaveral, covered America's first spaceship flight at the Kennedy Space Center in 1981, and observed the first landing tests of the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Robert Schulman, Chief Special Services Branch at NASA Headquarters said, "Tom O’Hara was more than a talented and gifted artist. He was from our perspective, a pioneer."

O'Hara’s collection of Conté crayon sketches and acrylic paintings he created for NASA can be found at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.