Country: Kenya  •   Medium: Clay

There are very few clay sculptors in developing countries like Kenya. This is because the training is not diversified enough to show and encourage the potential of artists and to help them further their talents.
However, born in the early 1960’s Tom Otieno Oneya already developed a strong interest in the art of clay sculpture in his young childhood years.
He had no proper art teacher throughout his primary level of education, a factor that did not hinder the progress of his unique talent in working with this medium.
A new wind of positive transformation on Oneya’s quality of art blew when he joined Nyabondo High School for his secondary education.
At this school Tom managed to join a group of young and talented artist under the tutelage of the late Father Leo Bartels of Nyabondo Mission in Kisumu district. Under the guidance of Father Leo, Tom could develop and hone his skills in the fine art of clay sculpturing.
After completing his secondary education Tom joined the Agoro Sare High school. He was admitted as the only student for the subject of Art. The lack of peers did not discourage him in his passion for the subject, and he enjoyed the focus and attention of an art teacher hired especially for him.
Finally, Oneya joined the Kenya Polytechnic in 1989 for his Diploma Course in Graphic Design.
Tom decided to become a fulltime artist after he successfully completed his college training and now works full time as a clay sculptor.