Tom Otterness was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1952. He came to New York City in 1970 to study at the Arts Students League, and in 1973 took part in the Whitney Independent Study Program. In 1977 he became a member of Collaborative Projects, a pioneering community of independent artists, and took a leading role in organizing Colab’s 1980 Times Square Show, which was called “the first avant-garde art show of the ‘80s” by the Village Voice. Otterness lives and works in New York.
In the U.S., Otterness has completed at least three dozen public commissions, including Life Underground (2004), his celebrated multi-figural bronze sculpture installation for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Agency at the 14th Street station on the Eighth Avenue subway lines. His international commissions include public plazas in Münster, Germany (1993), Toronto, Canada (2007), and Seoul, South Korea (2010), and a large public park in Scheveningen, the Netherlands (2004). In 2013, Creation Myth, a gateway park for the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, N.Y., was dedicated.