New Member: Tom Asma

This article continues our practice of profiling new members so that you recognize them and can talk about mutual interests. Please introduce yourself to Jeff as soon as you see him.


Tom, a native of Waukegan, was educated as a commercial artist and made a living at it until, he says, “the Macintosh computer changed everything.” He was then able to find what he calls "factory work" in and around Lake County and ended up working at Abbott for 14 years before retiring 3 years ago.

As a working graphic artist he was able to pursue fine art on the side and was for a time employed by Malcolm Layson and was a member of the Art league. He rejoined the Art League last year. Tom learned commercial art at the respected Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, but found advertising art too restrictive. He left school and was shortly thereafter drafted into the Army. He was stationed at Fort Greely, Alaska, near Fairbanks; there he could draw and paint spectacular scenery and was introduced to the new artist grade acrylic paints.


Later, back in Illinois, he returned to commercial art, married and started a family. He worked for Layson Productions and Carlson Studios in Chicago, then became a staff artist with Lake County Planning Commission and finally Walgreens in Deerfield. Forced out of commercial art by the new computer technology, Tom worked at WMS Gaming as they moved away from video arcade games to slot machines for casinos. Lastly, at Abbott, he drove forklifts in a large warehouse.

What`s next? Exploring new media and subject matter. Currently Tom`s doing graphite drawing, pen and ink, and colored pencils. He often does subject series like cars or flowers, and should soon be discovering still another subject.

Legacy Collection Program Approved

The art league board of directors approved Thom Kapheim’s proposed Legacy Collection program at its May meeting. The art league will protect, preserve and exhibit significant works of art from Lake County artists for the benefit of future generations. Works will be accumulated from donations and from families or artists themselves. These artists do not need to have been affiliated with the art league.

Those donating art will be required to have it framed and ready for hanging. They must then sign a release for transferring ownership to the collection unconditionally. Once art is catalogued as part of our Legacy Collection it will be exhibited at various commercial and government venues. These will be asked to donate to the project to pay some of the collection’s operating expenses.

The collection’s program costs will otherwise become part of the LCAL budget. For two years the art will be stored at no cost in Thom and Carol Kapheim’s leased Waukegan building, after which there will be a commercial storage cost of about $70 per month.

Thom Kapheim will serve as the first Chairman of a committee in charge of administering the collection as part of Lake County Art League. He will keep the Board of Directors and thus the art league informed monthly either in person at a board meeting or by email. Member volunteers will be needed to serve on the committee, screen possible donations and oversee displays of the art.

February Member News - download here

Exhibits & Member News