Tom Virgin is a Miami-based artist, proprietor of Extra Virgin Press, and for 25 years, a Title I public school art teacher. Virgin received his BFA in Printmaking & Painting from Florida Atlantic University in 1989, and an MFA in Printmaking at University of Miami in 1994. He studied printmaking, book arts, and letterpress in over 40 post-graduate classes around the United States and teaches workshops in those subjects.
Born and raised in Detroit on jazz, blues, Motown, and rock & roll, Virgin has now spent twice as much time in Florida than in his native Michigan. Residencies around the United States in artist's communities and national parks have also informed his practice. His work in collaborations, prints, book arts, and public art often depict shared civic resources such as public schools, National Parks, and his home states—Michigan and Florida.
Extra Virgin Press (EVP) began creating community around letterpresses in 2015, with support from John L. and James S. Knight Foundation, a Wavemaker/Long Haul Grant, MDC Cultural Affairs, Oolite Arts, Miami Foundation, and many community partners. The mission of EVP is to help preserve the art of letterpress printing in Miami through teaching, printing, and bringing together a variety of community voices, including youth and the literary and artistic residents of Miami.
"Along with a narrative image, I imbue my prints, books, and public art with a sense of place that both longtime residents and newcomers can find familiar. I also give reference to history and roots in the community with metaphors or iconic images. As a whole, my body of work reflects ongoing changes in the human landscape I live in."