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Francis J. "Frank" Toole
Francis “Frank” J. Toole (American, 1926-) internationally recognized artist, sculptor, carver, designer, teacher, and lecturer primarily known for his sculptures in multiple mediums as well as paintings in oil and watercolor.

Toole received a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Albright Art School, University of Buffalo (1954), and a Master of Education from the Albright Art School, University of Buffalo (1955) and studied under one of the foremost American painters, Seymour Drumlevitch (American, 1923-1989). From 1965-67 he was a graduate assistant at the SUNY at Buffalo, and later was awarded a Master of Fine Arts there in 1970.

Toole’s work has been included in such invitational shows as the Albright Knox Art Gallery’s “Sculpture for Small Gardens” and Dortmund Germany’s traveling exhibit “American Artists”. He has received purchase awards and travel grants for his work, including a New York State Council of the Arts Grant and an Evelyn Rumsey Lord Award for Travel and Research. Commissioned artworks include both outdoor and indoor sculptural works, such as his 43-1/2’ foot brushed aluminum “Continuum” in the SUNY Dental School at Buffalo; a 24’ plastic fountain in the Levy, King and White Building in Buffalo, NY; his redwood “12 Stations of the Cross” (and Large Crucifix) at St. John Vianney Seminary in East Aurora, NY and his aluminum sculpture “Learning Together” in front of the Earl Brydges Library in Niagara Falls, NY. He has extensive background in design, having done such diverse items as fountains, tables, artist easels and restoration work including major repair on the Albright Knox Art Gallery sculpture “Poet” by one of the leading post-war British sculptors, Hubert “Nibs” Cyril Dalwood (British, 1924-1976). Toole’s artwork has been shown in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Canada and in Europe, and he is represented in many private collections.

From 1956-1965, Toole taught in the Exploratory Art Program for the City of Tonawanda public school system at the Delaware & Highland and Riverview & Mullen elementary schools, and would hold art exhibits in his back yard for the students. From 1960-65, he taught at SUNY, Buffalo, while also teaching art for children’s elementary, junior high and senior high school Saturday morning general art programs. From 1967-1986, he was the Director & Advisor of the Graduate Art Program at SUNY, Buffalo, teaching sculpture, three dimensional design, general & figure drawing as well as teaching methods. From 1969-74, Toole taught sculpture and general drawing for the Millard Fillmore College at Buffalo. In the spring of 1971, he taught sculpture at SUNY, Buffalo.

On July 3, 1953, Francis married Blanche C. (née Croisdale) Toole (Nov. 22, 1925-), who was a teacher for several decades in the Tonawanda school system (Fletcher School, Tonawanda, NY). Francis currently resides and maintains his studio in Tonawanda, NY. Francis’ wife once stated in a newspaper article from 2012 about his artwork, “…it’s about love and a passion to create…a curiosity about life. He’s so excited (about everything)…he’s like that day after day. Even if nothing comes of this, he did what he wanted to do. He did it with love and it was a gift. I think that’s so important. You have to love it, if not love it, embrace it. And he does.”[1]

Chronology:

1926- December 29, born, to Francis A. Toole a chemical operator at Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation in Niagara Falls, and mother Margaret L. Toole, Pittston, PA. Circa Early 1940’s- Toole moved to Niagara Falls, NY.

1944- June 27, Francis graduated from Niagara Falls High School, Niagara Falls, NY. September, Francis enlisted in the U.S. Army, Buffalo New York Branch, and deployed that following summer.

1945- July 12, Francis was deployed to Germany and served in the U.S. Army for the enlistment duration of the War or other emergency plus six months, serving there with the Army of Occupation until he was discharged.

1953- July 3, Francis married Blanche C. (née Croisdale) Toole (Nov. 22, 1925-) who taught for several decades in the Tonawanda school system, and she was a fifth grade teacher at the Fletcher School in Tonawanda, NY for many years, and the service was held at the home of her parents Mr. & Mrs. Lewis R. Croisdale. Niagara Falls, NY.

1954- Toole received a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Albright Art School, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

1954-55- Exhibited, group shows, Annual Western New York Art Shows, drawings and oils were shown by Toole, Buffalo, NY.

1955- May, exhibited, solo show, paintings shown in the dining rooms of Lovell’s Restaurant, Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY.

1955- August, Toole received a Master of Education from the Albright Art School, University of Buffalo and studied under the noted painter Seymour Drumlevitch (American, 1923-1989), and he later received it at the commencement held at Kleinhan’s Main Auditorium in February 1956, Buffalo, NY. Taught oil painting at Tonawanda Adult Activities Program, Tonawanda, NY.

From 1956-1965, Toole taught in the Exploratory Art Program for the City of Tonawanda public school system at the Delaware & Highland and Riverview & Mullen elementary schools, Tonawanda, NY.

1957- January 27, exhibited, group show, “Art For All”, sponsored by the Sisterhood of the Suburban Congregation for Reform Judaism, Tony Sisti Gallery, 469 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY.

1958- March, Francis received tenure in the Tonawanda school system, Tonawanda, NY. October 4-11, exhibited, group show (3rd Watercolor Prize), “1st Annual WNY Pharmaceutical Association Show”, Norman Mack House, 1100 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, Sisti Galleries, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, Springfield, MA.

1959- February 4-March 8, exhibited, group show, “25th Annual Western New York Exhibition”, sculpture shown by Toole, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, “Second Calhoun Life Biennial Painting Competition”, Toole’s oil painting “Upper Forest” shown, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC.

From 1960-65, he taught at SUNY, Buffalo, while also teaching art for children’s elementary, junior high and senior high school Saturday morning general art programs, Buffalo & Tonawanda, NY.

1962- Exhibited, group show (1st Prize), “5th Annual WNY Pharmaceutical Association Show”, Buffalo, NY.

1963- February 25-March 31, exhibited, group show, “27th Annual Western New York Exhibition”, sculpture shown by Toole, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. March 19, Francis gave an illustrated slideshow lecture on “Artistic Styles and Influences from the 19th Century”, for the Highland PTA, Tonawanda, NY. Exhibited, group national show of watercolors, “Chautauqua National”, Chautauqua, NY. Exhibited, group sculpture show, Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, TN. Exhibited, group sculpture show, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

1964- March 17, Francis gave an illustrated slideshow lecture on “The Work of Pablo Picasso”, for the Highland PTA, Tonawanda, NY. Exhibited, two-person show, “Drawing & Painting”, Niagara County Community College (NCCC) , Sanborn, NY. Exhibited, group sculpture show, Hendrix College, Conway, AR. Exhibited, group sculpture show, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Exhibited, three-person drawing show, Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, TN.

1965- Exhibited, group traveling invitational show, “American Sculpture Traveling Show Invitational”. Exhibited, group show, Tomac Gallery, 585 Potomac Ave., Buffalo, NY. June 30, Francis resigned as elementary art teacher in the Tonawanda public school system to begin a new position as Graduate Assistant in September at SUNY, Buffalo, NY.

From 1965-67- Francis was a Graduate Assistant at SUNY, Buffalo, NY.

1966- May 29-June 17, exhibited, solo show, of sculptures, drawings & watercolors, Tomac Gallery, 585 Potomac Ave., Buffalo, NY.

1967- May 28-June 16, exhibited, two-person show, “Francis Toole & Robert Flock”, Toole showed cast bronzes, aluminum and welded copper sculptures, Tomac Gallery, 585 Potomac Ave., Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, Tomac Gallery, 585 Potomac Ave., Buffalo, NY. November 6-December 10, exhibited group show, “31st Annual Western New York Exhibition”, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

From 1967-1986, he was the Director & Advisor of the Graduate Art Program at SUNY, Buffalo, teaching sculpture, three dimensional design, drawing & design, as well as general & figure drawing and teaching methods, Buffalo, NY.

1968- January, exhibited, faculty show, Toole’s steel sculpture “Landscape Section” shown and was also used on the cover of the Universities faculty & staff publication the Colleague, Vol. 4, No. 6, February 1968, SUNY, Buffalo, NY. February 27, Francis gave a slide lecture to members of the Buffalo Society of Artists at the Albright Knox Art Gallery Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, “Sculpture for Small Gardens”, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, two-person show, Junior League of Buffalo, NY.

1969- Exhibited, group show, Western New York Exhibition, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1969-70- Exhibited, group shows, Albert White Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

From 1969-74, Toole taught sculpture and general drawing for the Millard Fillmore College at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

1970- Awarded a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. March 25-April 17, exhibited, group show, The Patteran Society, welded aluminum sculptures shown “Sentinel” and “Sound Sculpture” with dripping water, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1971- Spring, he taught sculpture at SUNY, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, Patteran Society, SUNY, Buffalo, NY.

1972- May 12-, June 12, exhibited, three-person show, “Three”, Toole showed sculpture & drawings, Kenan Center, Lockport, NY. Exhibited, two-person show, Gallery West, Buffalo, NY.

1974- Exhibited, faculty show, SUNY at Buffalo, NY. Spring, exhibited, solo show, Patterson Gallery, Westfield, NY. November, exhibited, solo show, King Galleries, Niagara Falls, NY.

1976- Exhibited, group show, Patteran Society & Buffalo Society of Artists AKAG, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group sculpture show, E. Dent Lackey Plaza, Niagara Falls, NY. Exhibited, group show, Hooks-Epstein Gallery, Houston, TX. Fall, exhibited, two-person show, Frank Toole & Polly King, Niagara Art Center, Niagara Falls, NY. November, exhibited, traveling group show, “American Artists”, 34 WNY artists represented, from November-December the works were initially shown at the Dortmund Foreign Institute then onto West Germany as part of a traveling exhibit, Dortmund, Germany.

1977- Exhibited, group show, A.A.O. Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1978- Exhibited, traveling faculty exhibit, SUNY, Cortland, NY. Exhibited, group show, Daemen College, Amherst, NY.

1980- Exhibited, group show, Western New York Exhibition, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, Carriage House Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1981- May, exhibited, group show, “Outdoor Sculpture at the Aquarium of Niagara Falls”, aluminum sculpture shown by Toole ‘untitled’, 27-1/2” x 20” (1976), Niagara Falls, NY. Exhibited, group show, “Cobra II”, Carriage House Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1986- Retired from teaching for almost 20 years as the Director & Advisor of the Graduate Art Program at SUNY, Buffalo, NY.

1994- Exhibited, group show, Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY.

2000-2011- Exhibited, group shows (2nd Place Prize 2001 & 2nd Place Prize 2006), Art Dialogue Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

2011- Exhibited, three-person show, Art Dialogue Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

Exhibited Other: Various Patteran Society of Buffalo shows from 1965; Oklahoma National Watercolor Show, Purchase Prize Recommendation, (unknown year).

Memberships/Associations: Patteran Society, Buffalo, NY; Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY; Member of the faculty at the Tonawanda Adult Activities Program, Tonawanda, NY (1956); Phi Delta Kappa Professional Education Fraternity, Buffalo, NY.

Awards/Prizes: 3rd Watercolor Prize, “1st Annual WNY Pharmaceutical Association Show”, Norman Mack House, 1100 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY, (1958); 1st Prize, WNY Pharmaceutical Show, Buffalo, NY, (1962); Grant Award, Evelyn Rumsey Lord Award for Travel and Research, (Summer, 1967); Awarded a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY (1970); Grant Award, New York State Council of the Arts Grant, (1975); 2nd Place Prize (2001) & 2nd Place Prize (2006), Art Dialogue Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

Commissions/Installations: “12 Stations of the Cross” (and Large Crucifix), redwood sculpture, at St. John Vianney Seminary, East Aurora, NY, (1962); “Learning Together” (theme), 14’ high, outdoor abstract aluminum sculpture, Earl Brydges Library, commissioned for $8000 by the Niagara Falls Rotary Club to honor its eldest member, 103 year old Dr. Edwin Larter, Niagara Falls, NY, (1973); Plastic Fountain, 24’ high, Levi, King & White Building, Buffalo, NY, (1984); “Continuum”, aluminum sculpture, 43’ high and meant to mimic the double helix design of a DNA strand, University at Buffalo Dental School, Buffalo, NY, (1987); Painted aluminum sculpture, 10’ high x 16’ wide x 9-1/2 deep (including curved base), Niagara Falls, NY, (2007); “Together We Learn”, ¾ ton 8’ tall paint powder-coated aluminum sculpture depicting 4 child figures holding hands in a semi-circle each in a different primary color (red, blue, yellow & green), commissioned for $25,000 and was dedicated the students, staff & neighbors of the 24th Street Elementary School, Niagara Falls, NY, and was paid for by the Niagara Falls Coach Lines and the Joseph Argy family who owns the transportation company (September 23, 2008).

Collections: “No. 4” (1971) along with three sketches of the work, Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY; Charles Rand Penney Foundation Collection, Buffalo, NY; Armand Castellani Collection; Ashford Hollow Foundation, Buffalo, NY; Niagara Falls Art Center, Niagara Falls, NY; Durez Plastics Division of Hooker Chemicals, Inc., North Tonawanda, NY; Cannon Partnership, Grand Island, NY; Niagara Falls Aquarium, Niagara Falls, NY; Graphic Controls, Buffalo, NY; Numerous private collections throughout Western New York; And numerous out-of-state collections to include: Florida, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, DC, Houston, TX, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

Restoration Projects: Repaired and restored Hubert “Nibs” Cyril Dalwood (British, 1924-1976) sculpture “Poet”, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; and Replicated a missing Station of the Cross for St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, Tonawanda, NY.

Publications: Colleague, SUNY, Buffalo faculty & staff publication, Vol. 4, No. 6, February 1968, Toole’s steel sculpture “Landscape Section” was used on the cover of the publication, Division of the University Relations, SUNY, Buffalo, NY.

For additional information on this artist or for other possible examples of his works, please visit the AskArt link

(Rewritten and compiled by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, meibohmfinearts.com, 06/2014, from sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)
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