Tom Phardel is an artist and educator working in the Detroit area since the late 70’s. He received a BFA from Eastern Michigan University and an MFA from the University of Michigan.
As an artist Phardel is best known for his introspective non-functional ceramic vessel work focusing on the object’s interior space and form relationships. Phardel is equally known for his large scale mixed-media assembled sculptures, which primary materials incorporate ceramic, fabricated steel and glass. His interest in these works lie in the actual processes of making sculpture and the transformation that takes place when disparate materials come together both visually as well as psychologically.
Tom Phardel’s artistic career has been highlighted by numerous group and solo exhibitions and awards: most notable the Michigan Creative Arts Award: Exhibitions at both at the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum (DIA) and the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. Other highlights include being invited to the Shigoraki Ceramic Cultural Park Japan, the Times Square Station mural, for the Detroit People Mover system. He has been awarded more than a dozen times by the MCCA (Michigan Ceramic Arts Association). His work is in the permanent collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Dennos Museum in Traverse City, and Crocker Museum, in Sacramento, California, as well as numerous private collections throughout the U.S.
From 1988 to the present Phardel has acted as the Chairperson of Ceramics at the College for Creative Studies. As a dedicated educator Tom Phardel has actively mentored several students at CCS who have since become nationally recognized artists in the ceramic field. He has curated numerous shows and actively works with many arts organizations throughout metro Detroit.