Skip to main content Skip to footer

Tom Canale: I am ONE

thomas canale i am one banner with numbers 1, 2, 3

January 16th - February 9th, 2018
Reception: Thursday, January 25th 4 - 6pm

This exhibition will feature illustration, photography and typography created while on sabbatical by SVSU Professor of Art in Graphic Design, Tom Canale. He received his B.F.A. in Graphic Design from The Cleveland Institute of Arts and his M.F.A. in Digital Art/Computer Imaging from Bowling Green State University. He teaches all levels of Graphic Design courses including Introduction to Computer Graphic Design, Logo Design, and Publication Design.


tcanale nancy Canale artwork
Tcanale, Nancy tom canale


Highlights from the exhibition review published by Review Magazine

"Canale's innovative typography sometimes degrade and crumble in the Tom Carson tradition, the graphic designer who realized about 1990 that the writing in his client's skateboard magazine was so lame, it didn't matter if it was legible or not.  "WE FORGIVE" might be Canale's most demandingly Carsonesque, or his "EXPERIMENT-1" whose many layers require a lot of effort from the viewer to read the spiritual message.  His texts have been aestheticized, stylized and polished into geometric shapes lined up or flying at you, exchanging figure-ground relationships yet somehow adding up to Constructivist elegance, like those angular publication pages, posters and costumes proposed by optimistic, visionary artist-designers after the Russian revolution.  But he readily quotes Herb Lubalin, that "Sometimes you have to sacrifice readability for visual impact."

"In "ABSTRACT4" the big white text "Sweet fantasy, my dream remembers..." sits atop swirling painterly swirls as if applied with paint-clotted metal type, then forces a change of viewing distance to read the rest.  His TITLE PAGES series are like the most attentively, craftily designed ransom notes ever, assembled from diverse letters by a fussy kidnapper with intense attention to creative word spacing.  Various posters play with the I AM (NOT) (AL)ONE visual punning, with multi-directional or truncated letters, or backgrounds that suggest the dot grid patterns used by the late UM surrealist Gerome Kamrowski.


"Tom Canale is also the designer of one of the most popular sculptures at a university proud of its sculptures.  SVSU boasts the fine Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, and Nancy Holt's participatory "Annual Ring".  Canale's I LOVE SVSU is in the tradition of Robert Indiana's LOVE, a text-based painting and serigraph turned into a monumental three-dimensional steel sculpture."

Read the full review by Prof. Mike Mosher at the Review Magazine website.


Tom Canale's Exhibition Tom Canale's Reception

Above photos by Cassidy Spendlove

All gallery exhibitions, lectures and receptions are free and open to the public. Click the following link for open gallery hours or call (989) 964-2291. The University Art Gallery is located in the Arbury Fine Arts Center on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University,

Contact Us
(989) 964-2291(989) 964-2291

UAG Coordinator

Department of Art

Shaun Bangert, Chair


University Art Gallery
Arbury Fine Arts Center
Contact Us:
To be added or removed on
postal mail or email: