William Coombs (1946-2007)
Originally from New Hampshire, a full-time, professional artist known for his work in oils, watercolors, drawings and printmaking, he began his formal training at the University of Washington concurrently with a scholarship to the Charles and Emma Frye Museum School in Seattle. He continued his advanced studies in New York City at the School of Visual Arts, the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design.
In the past 50 years his paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally and have been awarded over a hundred prizes, among them the Gold Medal, Irish Feis, NYC; First Prize, Knickerbocker 15th Annual National Arts Club, NYC; Best of Show, North Wildwood, NJ; First Prize, Mystic, CT; First Prize, Moorestown Mall, NJ; First Prize, Ocean City, NJ; Purchase Award, Atlantic City, NJ; First Prize, Ocean City, NJ; Purchase Award, Caldwell, NJ; First Prize, Oyster Bay, NY; Best of Show, Allendale, NJ; First Prize, Shore Mall, Atlantic City, NJ; First Prize, Stone Harbor, NJ. Will Coombs is a Fellow of the American Artist Professional League, a member of the Salmagundi Club, a Life member of the Art Students League of NY, a member of the Ocean County Artists Guild, and the Westfield Art Association.
Mr Coombs' paintings and lithographs are included in many notable private collections and in the permanent public collections of the U.S. Navy (NACAL) Washington, DC; The Dorne Collection, Adelphi University, Long Island, NY; The City of Atlantic City, NJ; The Asbury Park Society of Fine Arts, Asbury Park, NJ; The City of North Wildwood, NJ; The West Essex Savings and Loan Association, Caldwell, NJ; The Art Students League, NYC; The U.S. Coast Guard (COGAP), Washington, DC; The New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Readington, NJ; The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; The Berkeley Federal Savings Bank, Livingston and Bricktown branches, NJ; Children's Specialized Hospital, Mountainside, NJ. Will is a past President of the Westfield Art Association, Inc.
Over the past 20 years the artwork of Will Coombs has been devoted to and deeply involved with his love of Hot Air Ballooning. His paintings and lithographs of Hot Air Balloons gently soaring over the New Jersey landscape depict a unique view of serenity and tranquility combined with a strong sense of design and color, have become much sought-after by many collectors establishing Mr. Coombs as the foremost Hot Air Balloon Artist. He is the Official Artist of the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, having been commissioned to paint the 1985, 86, 87, 96, 97, and 2001 Festival Posters.
A balloonist himself, and a strong proponent of ballooning he advises, "Everyone should take a balloon ride, there is absolutely nothing like it in the world. It's not a roller coaster ride, but rather a very gentle flight much like, if you can imagine, ascending on a cloud."
On December 2, 2007 William Coombs passed away.