Tom Van Sant


Art in Architecture
Spartacus Illustrations
Correspondent Art
California Girls
Birds of A Feather
Space Art
The Earth From Space



1931 Born Los Angeles, California

1953 B.A., Stanford University

1954-1955  Commissioned Officer, United States Marine Corps, Korea, Japan

1957 M.F.A., Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County

1957-1965  Faculty, Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County

1958-1961 Instructor, Omega Seminars, Adult Education 

1975-76 Creator of Large-Scale Kites 

1978-present   Instructor, Life Drawing Classes, Tom Van Sant studio

1988 Instructor, Life Drawing, Santa Monica College Community Division

1989-2000 Founder and CEO, The GeoSphere Project, for the creation of the

First Satellite Map of Earth, the GeoSphere Globe, the Global Visual Library,

and the Earth Situation Room Exhibits

1990 Creator, The First Satellite Map of Earth (The GeoSphere Image), composite

map of planet Earth from space, one year in the making.

1991-2000 Development and installation of 7 Earth Situation Room permanent exhibits

in 7 countries on 5 continents

2000-2013 Development of commissioned studio sculptures and paintings

2011-2012  Instructor and Mentor, Otis College of Art and Design




Fellow, MIT, Center for Advanced Visual Studies

Founding Director, Los Angeles Mural Conservancy

Founding Director, TIMOCA (21st Century Int'l Museum of Contemporary


Board of Advisors, Artists Equity Association

Instructor, Santa Monica College Community Division




Leonardo Di Vinci Space Art Award - from the National Space Society, the Planetary Society, and the Carnegie Mellon University Studio for Creative Inquiry for a 'lifetime of artistic actions in and with the sky and outer space, including his brightly clear re-envisioning of Earth' (The First Satellite Map of Planet Earth.)

The Golden Brush Award - from Illustrators West for the illustrations of the Howard Fast novel and the 1961 film “Spartacus” starring Kirk Douglas and Lawrence Olivier.

City of Los Angeles Certificate of Commendation - for creation of the “Goddess of Democracysculpture made in collaboration with other artists in support of the Chinese Democratic Movement.

City of Los Angeles Certificate of Appreciation - for spearheading the first annual Otis College of Art and Design, “Kite Festival,” and 'dedicating his lifetime to professional artwork for display around the globe'.

Numerous Awards of Merit from the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles County and Orange County, for individual projects and a 'Lifetime Award for contributions to architecture'.

Vanguard Award of 1998 - conferred by the Silicon Graphics Corporation for the advancement of computer graphics in the making of the “Tom Van Sant Satellite Map of Earth”, the largest single image created in an interactive computer of its time. 







1956 Union Union,  mural, oil on canvas  6’ x 15’  Retail Clerks Union 770, 

Los Angeles, California,  

1957 Fire, Water and Earthmural, Italian glass mosaic, 300 square feet

Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County, MFA thesis project

1958 New World Conquest,  Italian glass mosaic inlayed in black marble, 

two walls, 400 square feet, Mercantile National Bank, Dallas, Texas 


1958 Muskie,  bronze sculpture and fountain, Tyler Bank and Trust Company,

Tyler, Texas


1959 Transportation of Water,  natural rock Mosaic mural, American Pipe

and Construction  Company, Monterey Park, California 


1959 Tree of Life,  rock mosaic, 10’ x 25’,  San Marino Congregational Church,

San Marino, California 


1960 Eldorado Myth,  glass mosaic, rock mosaic, El Dorado Country Club, 

Palm Desert, California


1961 Tom Van Sant Residence, architecture, Los Angeles, California


1961 Children at Play, carved brick, two walls, California Congress of Parents

and Teachers, Los Angeles, California 


1961 Great Inventions,  mural, natural stone, Bell City Library, Bell, California


1962 Flying Pair,   epoxy resin, 6’,  Buffums Department Store, Pomona, California


1962 Colors of the Wind,  enamel on copper, Harrah’s Club, Tahoe, California


1962 Sources of Knowledge,  glass mosaic, Home Savings and Loan Association, 

Compton, California 


1962 Fullerton City Seal,  glass mosaic , Fullerton City Hall,  Fullerton, California 


1963 Open Hand,  bronze sculpture, 5’, Gibraltar Savings,  Baldwin Hills, California 

1963 Crucifixion and Resurrection,  glass mosaic, two murals 8’x5’,

Santa Clara Church Mausoleum, Ventura, California 


1963 Great Moments in History,  acrylic on canvas, 1700 square feet on five walls, 

Mt. San Antonio College Library, Pomona, California

1964 The Gulls of Salt Lake City,  bronze, 120 feet high, Prudential Federal  Savings

and Loan Association, Salt Lake City, Utah 


1964 Flight Form,  bronze sculpture, 7’, Robert E. Gross Memorial, Forest Lawn,

Glendale, California 


1965 Gulls,  bronze sculpture, Prudential Federal, Ogden, Utah 


1965 Spanish Heritage,  oil on wood, Howard Johnson Hotel, Anaheim, California  


1967 Wind Chimes,  aluminum 10’ x 80’,  Robinson’s Department Store, 

Newport Beach, California 


1968 Indigenous, sculptured concrete, 1200 square feet on forty walls, Irvine Financial

Plaza, Newport Beach, California

1968 Tree of Life, St. Martin's Cross, The Last Supper, plaster cement relief, three walls,

Geneva Presbyterian Church, Santa Ana, California


1968 California Migrations, acrylic on canvas, 120’ by 15’, Crocker-Citizens National 

Bank, Los Angeles, California


1969 Water Fall, glazed ceramic sculptured wall, 80’,  Robinson’s Department Store,

San Diego, California 


1969 Flight,  aluminum sculpture, 10 ‘ x 12’, Los Angles Public Library, 

Huntington Park, California


1969 Bird of Wisdom sculptured concrete, 10’ x 20’, Hoffman Motors, 

Marina del Rey, California 


1970 Founder I, Founder II, 15’x 30’, glazed ceramic tile, Arizona First National Bank,

Globe, Arizona 


1971 Celestial Way,  bronze sundial, Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, California


1971 Industries of Hawaii sculptured concrete murals, five walls,  Davies Pacific

Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

1971 Hawaiian Visions,  sculptured concrete murals, seven walls, Kona Surf Resort,

Kona, Hawaii


1972 The Word,  sculptured concrete, 25’ x 50’, Inglewood Civic Center, 

Inglewood, California


1972 Family Group, nickel and bronze sculpture, 8’x 25’, Union Bank Plaza,

Newport Beach, California 

1972 Sail Forms, terrazzo sculpture, 20’x 30’, Yacht Harbor Towers, Honolulu,



1972 Body of Knowledge ceramic sculpture mural , Los Angeles County

Library, Lakewood, California


1972 Forms of Flight,  stainless steel, sculpture  collection seven pieces,

Transamerica Pyramid Building, San Francisco, California


1972 Celebration of Life,  ceramic tile on steel, 70’x6’,  Orange County School of the

Arts, Santa Ana, California

1972 Shells and Gods,  oil on canvas mural, Davies Pacific Center,  Honolulu, Hawaii 


1972 History of Flight sculptured concrete, eighteen panels, Republic of China Civil

Aeronautics Building, Taipei, Taiwan 


1973 Luau,  sculptured concrete, 80’ x 13’, Honolulu International Airport, Honolulu,


1974 Los Angeles Civic Center Pedestrian Bridge, sculptured concrete, Los Angeles

Civic Center,  Los Angeles, California


1974 Open Hand, fountain, ceramic on steel, Los Angeles Civic Center, Los Angeles,



1974 Vietnam  Memorial,  iron, bronze, and foliage, 8’x 20’, California State

University Long Beach, Long Beach, California   


1974-78  Kites, design, construction, demonstrations and traveling exhibits:  US, UK,

Holland, France, Ireland, Australia


1976 Pour,  sculptured concrete 10’x 12’, Hawaiian Dredging and Construction

Company,  Honolulu, Hawaii 

1976 Flight of Fancy,  fiberglass and fabric sculpture, 15’ x  20‘,  Century Park

Sheraton Hotel, Manila, Philippines


1977 Tapas,  sculptured concrete, 10’ x 40’. Wailea Beach Hotel, Maui, Hawaii 


1979 Authors of the Sea,  concrete, eight walls, Bank of Newport Beach

Newport Beach, California 


1980 Reflections from Earth, reflected sunlight from the Earth recorded by the

LANDSAT satellite, Mojave Desert, California


1981 Ryan’s Eye, scanned electrons, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY


1982 Desert Dreams, paper mache 10’ x 20’, Wells Fargo Bank, Los Angeles,


1984 Silent Form, fabric and fiberglass, thirty-six piece, Los Angeles International

Airport, Thomas Bradley Terminal, Los Angeles, California 


1984 Birds of Prey,  concrete murals, two walls, William Allen residence, Provo, Utah 


1985 Portrait of King Vidor,  bronze sculpture,  16”,  Founding Director,

Directors Guild of America, Hollywood, California 


1986 Sea Form,  sculptured concrete, Paul Briles residence, Playa del Rey, California


1986 Eyes on Earth, reflected light and satellite imagery, Pacific Design Center,

Hollywood, California

1988 Dove stained glass window, 25’ x 25’,  Glenkirk Presbyterian Church,

Glendora, California

1988 Sky Cross sculptured wall, 50’ x 15’,  Glenkirk Presbyterian Church, Glendora,



1989 Pelican Wall,  sculptured concrete, 15’ x 120’  City of Newport Beach,

Newport Beach, California


1989 Goddess of Democracy, polystyrene replica of The Goddess of Democracy

erected by Chinese Students in Tiananmen  Square, Beijing, destroyed by the

Chinese Army, 23’ temporary installation, Los Angeles, California


1989 The GeoSphere Project founded by Tom Van Sant for creation of the Satellite

Map of Earth, the GeoSphere Globe and the Earth Situation Room Exhibit for

science and education centers in USA, Japan, Sweden, Spain, Brazil, and

South Africa


1990 The Earth From Space (The GeoSphere Image), the first satellite map of planet

Earth, one year in the making, completed April 15, 1990, selected as the title

page of the 1990 National Geographic World Atlas, adopted by NOAA, NASA

and the United Nations, becomes the most widely distributed single image

in the world 


1991 GeoSphere Globe, 6’6” the first reality model of Earth and the Global Visual

Library, an electronic geographic program for monitoring global resources and

global change 


1992 Earth Situation Room Environmental Exhibit for the United Nations Conference

on Environment and Development (The Earth Summit), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

1993 Earth Situation Room Permanent Environmental Exhibit, Brazilian National

Center For Space Research, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Purchased by the United Nations

as a gift to Brazil for hosting the UN Conference on Environment and

Development of 1992.

1994 Earth Situation Room Permanent Environmental Exhibit, Hemiji Science Center,

Osaka, Japan 


1995 Earth Situation Room Permanent Environmental Exhibit, Toho Science Center,

Nagoya, Japan 


1996 The First Satellite Map of Earth, satellite map of Earth completed at higher

resolution (1km)


1996 Earth Situation Room Permanent Environmental Exhibit, Smithsonian National

Zoological Park, Washington, D.C.


1996 Completion of The Earth From Space, satellite map of Earth at 1km resolution 


1996 Earth Situation Room, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C.


1997 GeoSphere Globe, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California 


1998 The Digital 3-D Earth, developed in association with Silicon Graphics (SGI), the

basis for Google Earth


1998 Earth Situation Room Permanent Environmental Exhibit, Lisaberg Theme Park,

Goteburg, Sweden


2000 Earth Situation Room Permanent Environmental Exhibit, MTN Science Center,

Cape Town, South Africa 


2001 Dolphin Wall, sculptured concrete, 12’ x 60', Hoag Memorial Hospital, 

Newport Beach, California 


2003 Marsh Birds,   bronze sculpture, 7’,  Muth Interpretive Center,

Newport Beach, California

2005 Sandpiper Wall,  sculptured concrete 5’ x 60’, Hoag Memorial Hospital, 

Newport Beach, California


2013 History Wall, sculptured concrete, 10' x 30', Orange County Peace Officer's

Memorial, Tustin, California

2013 Heroic Figures, cast bronze, 9', in association with Daub and Firmin Sculpture

Studios, Orange County Peace Officer's Memorial, Tustin, California




1956 LOS ANGELES UNIVERSITY CLUB, Los Angeles, California

            SCHOOL OF DESIGN), Los Angeles, California

1960    GALERIE DE VILLE, Los Angeles, California

1963    GALERIE DE VILLE, Los Angeles, California


1970    GAIL WOODWARD GALLERIES, Westwood, California

1974    JACQUELINE ANHALT GALLERY, Los Angeles, California


1976    FESTIVAL D'AUTOMNE A PARIS, Foundation Salomon de Rothschild,

1977    CHAFFEY COLLEGE MUSEUM AND GALLERY, Ontario, California,
             retrospective exhibit

1977    MYER GALLERIES, Melbourne, Australia

1977    MYER GALLERIES, Sydney, Australia

1977    HONOLULU CITY HALL, Honolulu, Hawaii

1977    STEDELIJK MUSEUM, Amsterdam, with exhibit traveling to the
             municipal galleries of Den Helder, Bergen Aan Zee and Egmond Aan Zee,

1977    LAKEHAL MUSEUM, Leiden, Holland

1977    SCHIEDAM MUSEUM, Rotterdam, Holland

1977    BUTLER CASTLE MUSEUM, Kilkenny, Ireland

1980    LOS ANGELES PACIFIC DESIGN CENTER, Los Angeles, California

1985    LAGUNA DESIGN CENTER, Laguna Beach, California


1999    KETTLE'S YARD GALLERY, Cambridge, U.K.



1956 - 59   FAITH & FREEDOM MAGAZINE,  Art Director

1958 - 59   THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, documentary drawings and
mentary on Greek Cypriot terrorist war, from Cyprus and
                 Jordan, published January and February, 1959

                 documentary and promotional  drawings for the film "Spartacus"

                  Illustration of the novel  "Spartacus" by Howard Fast

1961 - 64    McINTOSH, INC., card design, "Christmas Artists" series

1962 - 66    CHILDREN'S ORTHOPEDIC HOSPITAL, Los Angeles,  California
                  Announcement and program design, Film World Premiers

1968           UNITED STATES LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, war combat artist,
                  1st Marine Division



1958    Use of natural colored stone mosaic precast in epoxy resin for mural and
           curtain wall application

1961    Electrodeposition of nickel, copper and bronze for lightweight, thin shell
           sculpture forming

1965    Development of polyurethane forms for concrete casting of sculpture relief in
           architectural application

1968    Development of forming procedures for exposed aggregate concrete casting

1974    Development and use of fiberglass and nylon fabric in airborne structures

1980    Development and use of solar reflectors for satellite sensor reception

1983    Use of scanning eleitrmicrosopy for creation of sub micron imagery

1989    Design and use of software for compositing satellite mosaics

1995    Design of video projection systems for globe display technologies


1971     CITY OF INGLEWOOD, Art Master Plan for Inglewood Civic        
            Center, Inglewood, Charles Luckman Associates, architects

1972 - 73 CITY OF LOS ANGELES, Art and Environmental Master Plan,  The
                Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles

1972         DAVIES PACIFIC CENTER, Honolulu, Hawaii.  Art Environmental
                Consultant, Au, Cutting & Smith, architects

1975 - 76  FARAHZAD CENTER, Teheran, Iran.  Art & Environment Plan,        
                Archisystems, Inc., planners and architects

1986 - 88  WORLD TECHNOLOGY TRADE CENTER, Washington, D.C.        
                Smith/Williams Group, architects   


1960 - 66    OTIS ART INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY                 
                 Instructor of drawing, painting and design

1967 - 68    OMEGA SEMINARS, Institute for Executive Research, Glendale,
                  California.  Instructor for personal growth seminars

1967-2013  TOM VAN SANT STUDIO, Los Angeles, California.  Life drawing
1988 - 89    SANTA MONICA COLLEGE,  Instructor of life drawing        



1956    RETAIL CLERKS UNION, mural, oil on canvas.  Juried open competition
            among graduate students of California.

            Art and Craftsmanship Award.

1963    MT. SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE, library murals.  Juried international
            invitational competition.

1965    OUTSTANDING YOUNG MEN OF AMERICA, U.S. Junior Chamber of 
            Commerce. Awarded for artistic achievement.

            Sculpture Symposium Commission, "Vietnam Revisited", steel and

            assemblage, fabric and fiberglass, thirty six pieces.  Award of Merit.
1999    SGI "VANGUARD" Award 

2006    LEONARDO DA VINCI SPACE ART AWARD , ISDC Space Art Life Dedication Award

1989   Eyes On Earth, a California non-profit corporation, was founded by Van Sant for
environmental research and education.
1989 The GeoSphere Project was created by Van Sant as the display and distribution arm of
Eyes On Earth. The following are its products.
1990 The GeoSphere Image marks a milestone in cartographic history.  It is the first satellite map
of Earth, showing the real world as it appears from space. The work required one year of
effort by Van Sant and his technical director Lloyd Van Warren, using the world's most
powerful graphics computers. The image was first published as the title page of the 1990
National Geographic World Atlas. Since 1991 it has been adopted by  all U.S. federal
agencies, has been published in over 300 magazines and  atlases, and is the largest selling
image in the world.
1991   The Global Visual Library (aka Life on Earth), under development by Van Sant since
1987, is  an interactive, multimedia universal library.  It consists of animated
visualizations of Earth's processes, historic dynamics, species habitats, migration patterns,
and political and social data bases.  Organized in a global geographic information system.
1991   The GeoSphere Globe, 6 feet in diameter, utilizes The GeoSphere Image as its 
surface and constitutes the first three dimensional, realistic model of  planet Earth.
The sphere is constructed of clear Lexan, thereby allowing video projectors within the
globe to display the animated data sets of the Global Visual Library through its surface.
1992   The Earth Situation Room is the ultimate display of The GeoSphere Project effort.  
It incorporates the assets of The Global Visual Library, The GeoSphere Globe, and
offers monitoring of world weather, earthquakes, ocean conditions, ozone depletion,
deforestation, commercial  air and sea traffic, and special research projects.  
Earth Situation Rooms have been installed at the following locations:

        United Nations Summit Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

        Brazilian National Center for Space Research, Sao Panlo, Brazil

        Hemiji Science Center, Osaka, Japan

        Toho Gas Exhibit, Nogoya, Japan
         World Exposition, Barcelona, Spain
         Lisaberg Theme Park, Goteberg, Sweden
        Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C.

        MTN Science Center, Capetown, South Africa 
    University of California at Los Angeles
    University of California at Irvine
    University of the Sequoias
    California Institute of Technology
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Stanford University
    University of Hawaii
    Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County
    California Museum  of Science and Industry
    Exploratorium, San Francisco
    Seattle Museum of Science and Industry
    Fort Worth City Association
    Taipei Future City Association, Republic of China
    American Institute of Architects
    American Institute of Landscape Architects
    Los Angeles Pacific Design Center
    Institute of Contemporary Art, London
    Architects For An Ethical Society
    The Sierra Club
    The Audubon Society
    The Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands
    Kilkenny Festival, Ireland
    National Meteorological Society
    Smithsonian Natural History Museum
    United States Geological Survey, Souix Falls
    National Space Center, Sao Paolo, Brazil
    Himiji Science Center, Osaka,  Japan
    Tokai University, Tokyo, Japan
    National Ocean ographic and Atmospheric Administration
    National Academy of Sciences
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Fort White Global Education Center, Ottawa, Canada
    Hayden Planetarium, New York
    Field Museum, Chicago
    University of Hawaii
    World Design Forum
    United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
    United Nations Environment Program
    National Center For Supercomputing Applications
    TERC Symposium on Geographic Information Systems, Washington, D.C.
    Stanford Research International, Palo Alto
    National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.
    Center For Global Community, Kansas City
    GLOBE International Symposium, Tokyo 


"Tom Van Sant is the only truly modern artist I know."

-Richard Feynman, Physicist

 Nobel Laureate



"Tom Van Sant is the master of architectural art, transformer of sky art, and the father of space art."

-Otto Piene, Director

 MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies



"Tom is the greatest kite designer in the world."

-Don Boulton

 President, British Kite flier's Association 1976



"In one year Tom revolutionized cartography.  He made the first truly new map of the world since the 16th century."

-Douglas Newman

 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration



"Tom's electronic Global Visual Library is the Holy Grail of user interface."

-Peter Olson, V.P. MCI



"If Leonardo were to come to lunch, I would seat him next to Tom Van Sant."

-John Svenson, artist-philosopher



"Artists, philosophers and statesmen dream of changing the way we see the world. Tom actually did."

-Oscar Janiger, Director

 Psychological Research, UC Irvine



"Tom's Tryon Road residence, designed and built by him at age 29, is one of the 10 best homes in Los Angeles."

-Jeffrey Lindsay, architectural designer



"Tom's satellite composite view of Earth has become an iconic image of our time."

-Al Gore, Vice President of the United States

 Nobel Laureate


"We find ourselves designing buildings to host Tom's artwork."

-William L. Pereira, FAIA