CURRENT

  Lottie Green Varner , 2018.

Lottie Green Varner, 2018.

Mugshot Portraits: Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Rena Bransten Gallery 
1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco, CA
September 8 - October 27
Opening Reception: September 8th

Mugshot Portraits: Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott is a solo exhibition of works by Lava Thomas. The exhibition takes a contemporary look back at a powerful, yet under acknowledged legacy of Black women’s activism through a series of portraits drawn from the mugshots of women who were indicted under Alabama's anti-boycott law.  Mugshot Portraits transforms visual codes of implied criminality into representations of Black women’s resistance, emphasizing the initiative, leadership, and sustained labor of women to the boycott’s success. 

Press Release


  Resistance Reverb: Movements 1 & 2 , 2018. On view at the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art through December 30.

Resistance Reverb: Movements 1 & 2, 2018. On view at the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art through December 30.

Be Not Still: Living in Uncertain Times
di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art
5200 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA
June 23 - December 30


Be Not Still: Living in Uncertain Times addresses concerns of our present social and political moment through newly commissioned works of art that engage audiences in ideas that matter. Other artists in the exhibition are Lexa Walsh, Ranu Mukherjee, and Victor Cartagena. 

Press Release | Brochure


  Looking Forward , 2017.

Looking Forward, 2017.

Personal to Political: Celebrating the African American Artists of Paulson Fontaine Press
Krasl Art Center
707 Lake Boulevard St. Joseph, MI
September 1 - November 25, 2018

Personal to Political: Celebrating the African American Artists of Paulson Fontaine Press features works by African American artists who have helped to shape the contemporary art conversation in the Bay Area and beyond. The show covers a wide range of prints, paintings, quilts, and sculptures, and includes an array of abstract and formal imagery. Narratives that speak to personal experiences and political perspectives are woven throughout. The exhibition features works by Edgar Arceneaux, Radcliffe Bailey, McArthur Binion, Gee's Bend Quilters (Louisiana Bendolph, Mary Lee Bendolph, Loretta Bennett, Loretta Pettway), Lonnie Holley, David Huffman, Samuel Levi Jones, Kerry James Marshall, Martin Puryear, Gary Simmons, and yours truly. Personal to Political will travel through 2022; list of dates and venues here.


  Requiem for Charleston,  2016. On view in the Lincoln Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Requiem for Charleston, 2016. On view in the Lincoln Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Requiem for Charleston
Smithsonian American Art Museum
F St NW & 8th St NW, Washington, DC
On view in the Lincoln Gallery


Requiem for Charleston considers the events of June 17, 2015, when nine men and women were shot by a white gunman inside one of the country’s oldest historically black churches in Charleston, South Carolina. The installation consists of 25 tambourines whose drums have been replaced with black lambskin, referring to the quintessential symbol of innocence and sacrifice. Thomas inscribed nine of the tambourines with the names of the murdered men and woman; others were left blank in tribute to the many men, women and children who have died in attacks on black churches. 

This work is discussed by the artist in the SAAM panel, "Contemporary Artists in Conversation with History: 1968,"  with Alfredo Jaar, Sam Giliiam, and E. Carmen Ramos. Watch here