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Thom “Tex” Wheeler makes art that springs from a joy of living and an unflinching optimism.  


Thom was born in Alice Texas in 1946. After serving as a sergeant in the US Army Medical Corp from 1969-1971  he attended Sam Houston University and graduated in 1975. His art career began in Houston Texas as a sculptor  of monumental works of stone, wood and metal. He was commissioned by designers and architects across the  United States to create large-scale sculptures that adorned restaurants, hotels, offices, private homes and yachts.  The size of these pieces allowed him more canvas to interpret the feelings his clients wanted to convey. His work  embodied the exuberance of the oil boom in his native Texas.

In 1985 Thom left the big city for Taos, New Mexico. His sculpture and painting turned to a very distinct New  Mexican theme. He creates aluminum, bronze and copper wall sculptures that resemble giant pieces of jewelry,  embellished with semi-precious stone.   

More recently he has taken to painting with the same sensibilities used in his sculpture. He paints with a palette  knife, which allows him to work the oils similar to his texturing of metals. He feels oils are more alive and his  application of thick, saturated colors creates complexity in his simplified compositions.  

Thom has gained much recognition for his religious themed art. His knowledge and fascination with history and a  variety of religions has taken him on an interesting journey. He enjoys mixing Southwest or Native American beliefs  with those of other religions to cast a more modern approach on how we view religion in our lives. A Celtic cross  can have a Zuni bear embedded in the middle, or a butterfly might flutter onto a Star of David. Anything is possible.  

Thom’s work is constantly evolving and he is never bored with creating art and living life to its fullest.  He is truly a renaissance man who embraces architecture, gardening, history and cooking with the same skill and  passion that he does with his art.  

Traveling throughout the United States and Europe has been a great source of joy and inspiration for him and a  passion he shares with his wife, Lavinia.  

He welcomes guests to visit his studio on a daily basis in his 38,000 brick adobe home that he designed and built  and shares with his wife, dogs, a cat and various other critters


  • Fresno Metropolitan Museum Fresno, California 

  • Building 98 Museum Galleries Marfa Texas 

  • Fort D.A. National Historic Site Marfa, Texas 

  • Dr. Jonas Salk, LaJolla, California  

  • Dennis Hopper, Hollywood, California 

  • Louis Gossett Jr., Hollywood, California 

  • Dean Stockwell, Hollywood, California 

  • Ole Miss University, Oxford, Mississippi 

  • Randy Travis, Nashville, Tennessee  

  • Banco di Roma, Rome Italy  

  • Katz&Bestoff, New Orleans, Louisiana 

  • Holy Cross Hospital Mural, Taos, New Mexico 

  • The Lannon Foundation, Palm Beach, Florida 

  • The Grand Hotel, Houston, Texas  

  • Cullen Eye Institute, Houston, Texas  

  • Virlane Foundation, New Orleans, Louisiana 

  • Heritage Farms, Houston, Texas  

  • Orbis Foundation, Houston, Texas  

  • Arena Theater, Houston, Texas  

  • All Saints Hospital Mural, Fort Worth, Texas 

  • Rivera Funeral Park Memorial Wall, Santa Fe, NM 

  • International Woman’s Foundation Marfa, Texas 

  • Hess Corporation, Houston Texas  

  • International Game Fish Museum, Florida


  • Featured artist Southwest Magazine, February 1983 

  • Featured artist Santa Fe Magazine, April 1988 

  • Cover artist Pulse Magazine, June 1991  

  • Cover artist Taos Magazine, October 1992  

  • Featured artist in New Mexico Magazine, April 1993 

  • Cover artist Houston Chronicle, April 1993  

  • Cover artist Traditions Southwest, May 1993 

  • Maverick Award designer for Taos Talking Pictures, April 1996  

  • American Museum-One man show, 1998  

  • Cover artist Enchanted Homes, 2003  

  • Seattle Homes 2001  

  • Southwest Art “Emerging Artist” 2006  

  • Cowboys & Indians Magazine 2008  

  • Cover Taos Magazine 2007  

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Taos Art Association 2008 

  • Show at the Governors Gallery, Santa Fe 2009 

  • Humanitarian Award, Taos Art Association 2009 

  • President and Board Member Taos Animal Shelter  2004-2012  

  • President and Co-founder of the Taos Lilac Festival  2013-  

  • President of the Historic Sierra Vista Cemetery, Taos  2013-  

  • Unsung Hero of Taos, 2016  

  • One man show - O Street Museum, Washington DC 2020 


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