Tom Holman may have stuttered throughout his life, but that doesn’t stop him from sharing his passion for art. It is easy to become engrossed by his talent andhis passion for creating beauty from stained and painted glass.
Now a renowned artist, Holdman’s work can be seen in Orem at the SCERA Center for the Arts, the Orem Public Library, at Utah Valley University’s Fulton Library and in many individual homes. Much of his international recognition comes through his work with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Beginning with the Palmyra Temple, Holdman has contributed stained glass images for 83 Mormon temples worldwide.
With a thriving glass business at Thanksgiving Point, it is apparent his work is in high demand. But the road getting to that point has had a few bumps.
In elementary school, kids bullied him because he stuttered. After one particularly rough playground experience, Holdman fled to his second-grade class where Val Wilcox, an understanding teacher with art ability, told the crestfallen boy there were many ways to communicate besides speaking. She handed him paper and pencil and suggested he draw an American flag.
“It turned out well,” he says. “When the other kids came in, they were impressed and said, ‘Wow. Did you do that?’” It was a breakthrough moment.
Later, at Orem High School, his life was forever changed when he learned basic
techniques of stained glass. After completing the class assignment, he tackled a
stained-glass tiger, Orem’s mascot. He immersed himself in shards of colored
glass, and the school prominently displayed his work. When the aging school was torn down recently, school officials kept the tiger, which hangs in the new high school.
“I’d kind of like it back,” Holdman smiles. “But I don’t suppose that is going to
Among other projects, he is working on a large panel depicting Christ and several parables for a temple visitor’s center near Rome, Italy. And massive doesn’t begin to describe his work on Roots of Humanity, an enormous glass installation that will be encased in a circular form to represent the earth. He is working with artists worldwide to showcase 11,000-square feet of stained glass images for exhibition on the six inhabited continents.