For nearly thirty years, Thomas Paquette '85 has loaned five landscape paintings to Bemidji State University's A.C. Clark Library. Now, that art will have a permanent home on campus for all to appreciate.
On October 21, Paquette officially donated these five works - which have been on display since 1998 - at a dedication ceremony on the library's main floor. The program was attended by several students, alumni and BSU faculty & staff.
The paintings will become part of BSU's permanent art collection and be used for study and enjoyment by BSU students and the Bemidji community. Paquette hopes these paintings, depicting a variety of natural scenes, will help energize BSU's art programs and provide students a foundation in art history and practical theory.
Dr. Randy Westhoff, associate vice president of academic affairs at BSU, announced at the ceremony that a re-envisioned Bachelor of Fine Arts degree should be available to students beginning fall 2022.
"I feel my BFA degree from BSU served me well professionally and I am very thankful for its presence when I studied under Professor Marley Kaul," Paquette said in a release. "I am confident that a new BFA program will be an asset to the University, its students and the broader community."
A radio interview conducted with Paquette following the dedication ceremony by local radio station 90.5 KBXE can be found here.
Thomas Paquette '85
Raised in Minneapolis as one of eleven children, he dropped out of art school in his first year, intent on seeing the world in a unique way. On and off for seven years, he explored North America by hopping on freight trains that carried him thousands of miles to the edges of the continent, hitching as far away as Alaska. He finished college with a BFA degree in Painting from Bemidji State University in 1985, summa cum laude, then earned his MFA on full fellowship from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.
His paintings have been featured in more than sixty solo exhibitions in museums and prominent galleries in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Washington, DC, and elsewhere.