Interact With Tomaselli’s Early Work

Dana Petersen

Copy Editor


At CSUF’s Begovich Gallery, the early work of Fred Tomaselli, a CSUF alum (’81) is on display for the first time since his graduation.

The exhibit is titled “The Early Works or How I Became a Painter” and is curated by Mike McGee, Begovich Gallery Director. Admission is free and covers 21 pieces from 1978-1997. The gallery is open Monday – Thursday and Saturdays 12 – 4 p.m. until Saturday, Dec. 12.

Tomaselli is a pre-modernist artist known for his wood panel work with a combination of various materials covered in resin. His work illuminates humanity’s connections to society, drugs, and nature. It  leaves the viewer to debate influence and the messages from society. His works are well-known and has been displayed internationally.

Tomaselli and McGee collaborated in the creation of the gallery for approximately two years from conception, working together to develop gallery layout and what to be displayed.

“We’re bringing these things to be seen for the first time in decades, but the really wonderful thing about it is that this is something that students get to see,” said McGee. “They get to go back and see what he did as a student and how his work evolved, how the connections that is in his work today were developed and matured, and where those ideas came from.”

When visiting two things tie Tomaselli to CSUF. First is a piece that is public for the first time: a watercolor piece of a succulent, which Tomaselli painted while attending CSUF in 1978. Another was made shortly after his graduation, a piece called “Current Theory” involving Styrofoam cups and fans.

When you visit the gallery there are interactive pieces that spark the imagination. From pieces displayed in open light, to others lighting up rooms, there are many beautiful but unexpected twists on what one would consider art.

Come with an open and curious mind and this exhibit will not disappoint as one sees the transition of Tomaselli’s work and style from student to professional.