Tom Hall, 66, artist and manager of Woodward Gallery

Tom Hall.

BY ALBERT AMATEAU  |  Tom Hall, the manager of the Woodward Gallery on the Lower East Side for 16 years, died Jan. 2 of mesothelioma lung cancer at the age of 66.

A longtime friend of the gallery director, John Woodward, he was offered the job as manager in 1996 two years after the gallery opened at 133 Eldridge St.

“Tom completely organized the gallery. He was the front line to the public and an integral part of our growth and development,” said Kristine Woodward, his friend and a partner in the gallery.

While in his 20s, Tom Hall was in the Navy from 1966 to 1969 during the Vietnam conflict. His diagnosis about a year ago with mesothelioma lung cancer was likely the result of his Navy service when his engine rating meant that he spent his working watches at sea in boiler rooms lined with asbestos, according to his longtime partner, Teresa Gindi

“He fought a rugged battle last year, underwent two major surgeries and several courses of brutal chemotherapy. Before that he wasn’t sick a day in his life,” Kristine Woodward said. “He was an ardent vegetarian and an outdoorsman who loved the wilderness and camping.”

“Camping out in a tent was like being in a five-star hotel for Tom,” said Gindi, who noted that he was meticulous about preserving his campsite environment.

A resident of W. 14th St. with Gindi, Tom Hall was a painter and sculptor who also wrote, directed and produced two full-length documentary films in 2008 and 2010, “Gold, Money and Oil” and “Response to Peak Oil.”

In the 1980s he worked for a producer of cultural exhibits for the Smithsonian Institute and NASA.

Born in Manhattan to Frederick and Elizabeth Shea Hall, he graduated from Kean University in New Jersey after his Navy service and earned a master’s degree in art from Montclair State College.

In addition to Gindi, a son, Aaron Hall, and a sister, Elizabeth Marie Chester, both of New Jersey, also survive.

Woodward Gallery will host a celebration of Tom’s life in about a month, details to be posted on the Web site

Clayton Patterson, who runs the Clayton Gallery and Outlaw Art Museum and Gallery, at 161 Essex St., has fond memories of Hall.

“One of the many pleasures I got from visiting Woodward Gallery was talking to Tom,” Patterson said. “For me, Tom Hall was the point man, the go-to guy, the serious, yet warm, welcoming person guarding the fort. Although he was a Vietnam veteran, a painter and sculptor, where we most connected was his love of documentary films.

“He started to make movies later in life. The DVD he made and gave to me was called ‘Response to Peak Oil,’ which emphasizes the need to go green. With declining oil reserves, we have increased our dependency on oil!”

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3 Responses to Tom Hall, 66, artist and manager of Woodward Gallery

  1. Mizye Tanimoto

    My name is Ms. Mizye Tanimoto, a frind of Teri Gindi.
    I am sending the deepest condolence from Japan.
    When Teri invited me to her place in NYC, I met Tom.
    I was fasinated by his interesting life story and his way of interpreting the world.
    All I have is the good memories of this wonderful couple with the beautiful smiles and watching them always makes me happy.
    I cherish his handmade ornaments he gave me when I was leaving for home.
    Even though I met him only once, he stays in my memory forever.
    I wanna be for Teri whenever she wanna talk and share the memories of Tom.
    Mizye Tanimoto

  2. Frank Hodroski

    My name is Frank Hodroski. I am a retired Carpenter/ Project Manager for BMS. I new Tom all my life…..We went to grammer school and High School together…Tom Hall and I lived together in our late twentys after our service tours in Vietman…He was my best friend and we shared many adventures together…I found love and got married…That's when Tom went off to school to hone his Art….We remained close and I would go to his exibits and see him when I could…We shared special times which I will never forget…. I will miss his wonderful smile and his calming voice…but always remember his generous heart……..

  3. One of my Best, if not best, Friends. A unique, talented man, with a heart of gold and a NYC attitude. Gone long before he should have left us. I miss him. Guess we will never have that beer we were going to have together, next time we saw each other. A running joke between us. Love You Tom!

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