About The Artist

About Tom Nachreiner


Tom was born in Madison WI & grew up in Verona WI, close by. He enjoyed his younger years drawing plans for projects & later meeting over the kitchen table with an interested, inventive dad, trading crude drawings. Tom’s mother would help him with school projects when it would involve art. Tom got his creative start from his parents and explored his own artistic world with their support.


Tom Nachreiner has lived in Wisconsin all his life. He met his high school sweetheart, Nancy, in his freshman year at Verona High School. Tom was active in Track 4 years, Baseball 4 years, Basketball 4 years and as a Senior Tom won the Physics Award and was Secretary of Math & Science on the Student Council. After graduation, he spent one year at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he started out in Engineering & then switched to Fine Art. He transferred to Milwaukee’s Layton School of Art where he won a merit award scholarship each year & at the end of his junior year he won the school’s highest scholarship. The Miriam Frink, Charlotte Partridge Scholarship, included full tuition & all art supplies for his senior year. Tom received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with highest honors.

After graduation Tom built a reputation in Milwaukee’s Advertising community. He started his own illustration company, Art Factory, Ltd. Tom’s paintings were accepted three times into the New York Society of Illustrators Show in New York, & were included in their book distributed world wide. Tom has won many illustration awards throughout the years, both locally and nationally.

In more recent years, Tom has made a transition back to Fine Art, painting from his heart & exhibiting in Galleries. Tom paints “for the shear love of it”, earlier with watercolor & gouache on paper and now, within the last 15 years, with oil on canvas, linen, or panels.

Teaching History

1995 – 2000  Teacher at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design – Senior Illustration seminars.

2005 – Present  Workshops through Tom Nachreiner School of Art – Maple Ave Studio, Elm Grove Studio & Plein Air around the country.

2009 – Present  Teacher of Workshops at Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, WI

Artist’s Statement

“As an ‘Oil Painters of America’  Signature Member, & an ‘American Impressionist Society’ Signature Member, I work both plein air, painting on location or from life in the studio, but I also enjoy experimenting with photos & sketches producing larger paintings. I am certainly influenced by all the Impressionists, and with the same ideology, paint to capture the essence of a moment in time, celebrating the freshness of oil paint, in aggressive, confident brushwork, trying not to fuss over the small detail, rather to capture primarily the form, mood & light, with a strong & dynamic design I instinctively build into each composition. I paint often, working spontaneously, with high energy, and a positive spirit.”

Recent Awards

Among many other recognitions, Tom has been juried into the “American Watercolor Society Show” in New York, juried into “The Society of Illustrators Show” in New York three times, & was featured in “Artist’s Magazine” three times.

In plein air events Tom won “Best of Show” 2008 / Milwaukee’s Plein Air Event. He won “Best of Show” / 2006 & 2011 & 2013 / Cedarburg Plein Air Event. He won “First Place” 2008 -“Second Place” 2009 -“Third Place” 2011 / Door County Peninsula Plein Air Festival, and in 2013 won “Best of Show” Shorewood WI Plein Air Event. Tom win “Third Place” at the 2017 Door County  Plein Air Invitational.

Tom was accepted into  Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition – 2009 – 2012 – 2013 – 2014 – 2015 – 2016 – 2017 – 2018 – 2019 …. In 2013 Tom won the Dorothy Driehaus Mellin Fellowship Award of 20,000.00 and in 2018 won “Best Of Division Honorable Mention”.

Tom was an Accepted Artist, Oil Painters of America “Salon Show” in 2010 – 2013 – 2015 – 2016, where he won an “Award of Excellence”.

Tom was accepted into the American Impressionist Society Juried National Exhibition in 2013 -2014 – 2015 – 2016 – 2017 – 2018. Tom is now a AIS signature member.

Tom was accepted into Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition in 2010 – 2014 – 2015 – 2016 – 2017 – 2018.

Tom became an Oil Painters of America Signature Member – able to put OPA after his name.

Tom also became an American Impressionist Society Signature Member – able to put AIS after his name.

Accepted into American Impressionist Society National Exhibition.
Won – Artists ChoiceQuick Paint AwardBest Of City Awardat Cedarburg Plein Air Competition
Won Third Place at Door County Plein Air Competition – Also Tom Sold Out.
Tom had four Large Paintings unveiled as part of the Green Bay Packer Permanent Art Collection.

Accepted into Oil Painters of America National Exhibition.At this Exhibition – won “Best Of Signature Division Honorable Mention.”
Won two Awards at Cedarburg Plein Air Competition – 1st Place Artists choice Award – 2nd place Best Of City Award.
Set a record for most paid ($5300.00) for a 2 hour “Quick Paint” at Door Co. Plein Air Festival “Quick Paint” Auction.
Accepted into Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition.

Accepted into Oil Painters of America Signature Member”Virtuoso Show”.
Accepted into Oil Painters of America 2019 National Exhibition in Utah.
Tom’s 13th year invitation to the annual “Door County Plein Air Festival”.
Tom will be a Judge of the 2019 “Cedarburg Plein Air Event



Tom married Nancy, his “high school sweetheart”. They have two children, Sara & Robin. Sara & Robin live very close by with our four grandchildren, “friendly” Chad & “princess” Lila, and “baby” Joie. Joie’s brother Amry, has recently joined the family.