First Friday Santa Cruz



Tom Brady

Profile Image
Email hidden; Javascript is required.


Tom Brady has evolved into a talented and prolific composer, designer, sculptor, photographer, and performer. He conceives, designs, builds and musically accompanies the installations in which he places himself. He then becomes an acrobat, a Zen master, a clown, a body behind a mask or a nucleus of whirling lights and images. Constantly playing with the level of information that the audience receives, his work sculpts light and shadow to create magical images and reflections on the state of being.

Deriving permission from the early Dadaist and beyond, performance structures assume the audience is capable of creating meaning for themselves when presented with slivers of insight selected to evoke, provoke and reveal.

What compels me as an artist to question, to speak, to transform the audience? I am inspired by Byzantine artists who sought to create Icons not merely as interesting images but portals to enlightenment, art of such perfection that viewers would be spiritually transformed. This along with Descartes’ concepts of reasonable doubt and the moral outrage of Francisco Goya’s painting of "The Third of May 1808" have drove me to make comment, to refuse to remain silent on the issues of import.

Elie Wiesel in the preface to his book “Night” calls upon us to speak "when you listen to a witness you become a witness". The urgency he conveyed to speak inspired Brady to create "Zilch" to restate this profound work for contemporary audiences, lest these lessons be lost. This urgency to question, witness, speak and transform is the essence of my art.

Brady began his journey into performance as art in 1970 while exploring the limits of sculpture, soundscapes, light and shadow, video mapping and performance at both Kansas University (BFA) and Rutgers University (MFA). He has performed "Boxes" in New York at Franklin Furnace (Brady's work is included in MOMA collection/research/Franklin Furnace) as well as PS1 Contemporary Arts Center In Queens NY. He was invited to perform his original work "3 Row Poles To Enlightenment" at the Generative Art Conference at the University of Milano, Italy in 2004.

He has exhibited and performed at COCA’s Busch Black Box Theatre, Laumeier Sculpture Park, 3 Sinks Gallery and at Satori, his studio in St. Louis MO.

Tom produced and premiered an original work - "Prodigal" with the full moon rising above beautiful Forest Park, Shakespeare Glen, St. Louis Missouri to critical acclaim in September of 2009. October 2019 Brady's sculptural "Man in the Box" performance co-created with Monica Newsam in collaboration with Zlatko Ćosić, was headlined at odc Theater in the Mission District, San Francisco CA.

The pandemic forced the closure of his studio in St. Louis. Mo at the end of 2020 He spent the following year and a half becoming a permanent resident in Santa Cruz, California. He is in the process of opening a new performance space where he will exhibit, incubate and present his work and that of Santa Cruz artists of all disciplines committed to art and content. Satori, an artist’s space, is located at 815 Almar unit 9 Santa Cruz California 95065. Visit

First Friday Artist Registry

The First Friday Artist Registry is an opportunity to connect your work with First Friday venues, curators and general art-enthusiasts. Register today and create a profile that will be viewed specifically by people looking for artists to show. Setting up a profile takes minutes and you can update it and make changes anytime you like. An annual subscription costs only $40.