Present/Tense by Malayka and Tom Gormally

Published: December 18, 2017

Categories: Artists | Spotlight | Visual

Malayka and Tom Gormally are an artist couple living in Seattle, Washington. Their individual works have appeared in galleries throughout the Seattle area, as well as across the country and internationally. Their first two-person exhibition, Present/Tense opened at Tacoma’s Spaceworks Gallery in November and is on view through December 21.

Tom is a 2015 Artist Trust Fellowship recipient specializing in sculpture. His work incorporates wood, found objects, and LEDs, often in the interest of critiquing the current political and social climate. As a Vietnam War veteran, who both served in and protested against the war, he is concerned by the current level of discord in American culture. He seeks to address this in his work through the use of simple materials to replicate technically advanced forms and abstract concepts, and by distorting the sizes and shapes of everyday objects.

Malayka is a 2015 EDGE program graduate and figurative painter. She grew up in Berkeley during the civil rights movement and says that this, along with the stories she heard about her father and grandparents escaping Nazi persecution in Europe, made her very aware of the many divides prevalent in our society. Many of her recent paintings depict scenes from protests in the Seattle area, including May Day and the Womxn’s March, and across the country.

Asked what they hope people will take away from the exhibition, Malayka and Tom say they want to create a space for conversation about current political and social issues. “I’d like people to notice what kind of messaging is being used by activists and hate groups,” Malayka adds. “Taking the time to study a painting affords an opportunity to study signs and symbolism in a different way than we do when ingesting news media.”

To learn more about the exhibition, visit the Spaceworks Gallery website.
More information about Tom’s work can be found at
More information about Malayka’s work can be found at

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.