Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

July 25, 2013

Thomas Aquinas Daly exhibit opens Sunday at Kenan Center

Night & Day — It’s one thing to be a talented artist. It’s a whole other thing to be talented and lucky.

Thomas Aquianas Daly, adopted from a maternity home in Albany by parents who raised him in Niagara Falls, seems to have been lucky from birth.

Along with an acclaimed talent for painting, his life has been beset by serindipty which won him an exhibit in Manhattan and eventually allowed him to quit his job and paint full time.

His big break came in a trout stream, when he happened to meet another fisherman, Bruce Kurland,  also a wildlife painter but far more accomplished, who would change the course of his life. 

Through Kurland, Daly’s work found its way into the hands of the director of the Grand Central Art Gallery in Manhattan, who phoned Daly and said “Send me all your work.”

It was the gallery staff who told Daly to use his middle name, Aquinas, to help his name stand out. Even though the name was a source of childhood embarrassment, he quickly learned about the importance of establishing a brand with the help of a distinctive name.

But even though his work has  been displayed in numerous solo exhibitions at galleries, museums and universities throughout the country and though he’s received a medal for his work from President Gerald R. Ford, the artist doesn’t pay much attention to his own successes.  “Your latest success is history,” he said, adding that people always ask “What’s next?”

In fact, Daly, now living in Arcade, hasn’t done much exhibiting lately, but agreed to do the Kenan Show because of what he knew about the center. “When the Kenan Center called I jumped at the chance to exhibit there,” he said. “I’d heard a lot of good things about the center, art wise.”

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