The Eye Guy
Downtown Concord has undergone a lot of change over the past few years with a complete redesign of the streetscape, but perhaps the most eye-catching thing throughout the process has been a giant eyeball, gazing down from the second-floor studio of artist/creator Tom Devaney. The big eye has delighted and puzzled many visitors and become a bit of a tourist attraction in its own right, but Devaney, who also teaches drawing and sculpture at NHTI, thinks it has served its purpose, and he even threw a going-away party for it on March 29. What’s next? Wait and see, he says.
- My studio is on the corner of Main Street and Pleasant, so people were always looking up to see what was going on. I thought it would be interesting if the studio was looking back at everyone as well.
- I was hoping to create a little awe and mystery in town — to make something that stopped people and gave them a smile.
- I could operate the Eye remotely from home, and also had a camera in the studio to see who was looking. Sometimes if I saw someone on the street looking up, I would change the image just to have some fun.
- Everyone seems to like the Eye. Some children have told me that it’s scary, but they like it.
- It is my eye. I do have three other eyes that I put up on special occasions.
- Art can take you out of your singular vision and show you possibilities. One thought or idea can start you on a course you may never have believed possible.
- As far back as I can remember, I was always drawing and making sculptures.
- When I was 9 years old, I started taking art classes at the Huntington Fine Arts Workshop in Huntington, Long Island, New York.
- This is when I started to think that being an artist was even possible.
- Success, to me, is connecting with people, making them think and feel.
- I am inspired by how cultural ideas connect us and how they shape people. It is important to react and respond to the time you are living in.
- Inspiration can come from anywhere — history, movies, books and new technologies.
- I liked the Eye because it was different and unexpected. Once it was no longer serving that function, I felt that it was time to move on to something new.
- I am working on a way to reflect Concord back on itself.
A look inside: Here’s a shot from the “Say Goodbye to the Eye” party held in March, where dozens of locals dropped in to look at the rest of the studio (many posed for selfies with the big Eye). Tom Devaney has had his Concord studio space for more than a decade, but he lives in Bow with his wife, Catherine.
Studio hours are flexible, but it’s always worth a walk upstairs to see if he’s in, or you can check out his work on Facebook and at tdevaney.com.