Thomas Elias Lockhart III | Owner, Fine Artist | New Life Design

A self-taught mixed media artist, Thomas Elias Lockhart III has excelled as the owner and a fine artist at New Life Design since 1995—wielding expertise in oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting, as well as pencil and pen work. Beyond just creating stunning paintings, drawings, and sketches, he strives to convey a story through his art—as he believes the medium has always been a method through which history and development in society are captured. He was first inspired to become an artist at a young age by his cousin, whose artwork served as a great inspiration for him to pick up the brush himself. By the time he was in high school, his teachers had taken notice of his artistic talents; upon graduating, he earned an art and visual communications degree from Al Collins Graphic Design School in 1995. Right out of college, his passion for art grew even more and he has since built a name for himself in the field through his internationally-renowned paintings, bustling art shows, and skills in communication, networking and making connections.

Among his numerous artistic achievements, Mr. Lockhart considers the highlight to be when he was commissioned to paint a piece for writer, director, and mogul Tyler Perry’s 50th birthday. In addition, he was commissioned for a piece in the film, “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America” in 2021. He takes pride in appearing on the cover of two magazines in 2022, being published in several newspapers, including the Martha’s Vineyard Times, being the focus of a special broadcast by Rocky Mountain PBS out of Colorado, and being featured in the contemporary section of “100 African American Artists.” He has several honors and recognitions for his work, including a Director’s Award and Best in Show at Spectrum Miami in 2021, a Cultural Development Artist Award by Ohio State University in 2021 and 2022, and a 60 Masters Award by Art Tour International Magazine in 2023. In addition, he earned a Certificate for Artistic Excellence from the Circle Foundation of the Arts and a Best of Show Chairman of the Board Award.

Outside of his primary endeavors, Mr. Lockhart dedicates his time and effort to the Glory to Glory Christian Center, where he serves as a youth minister, and Design a Bright Mind, which he founded—in addition to several volunteer services. Looking toward the future of his career, he strives to see his work on a bigger platform and have more opportunities to grow. He would also like to continue connecting with the youth, demonstrating what he does and encouraging them to pursue art and develop their creativity. His ultimate professional goal is to utilize the finances from selling his artwork to be able to pay it forward and “bless other people.” With his wife of more than 15 years, Mona, Mr. Lockhart has two children—Hope and Simon.

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