Finalist for Dr. Maya Angelou Sculpture at the San Francisco Public Library

I’m excited to announce that I’m a finalist for the Dr. Maya Angelou sculpture at the San Francisco Public Library. Congratulations to Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle and Jules Arthur, who are also finalists for the project. The sculpture launches San Francisco’s new initiative to include more historic women in public spaces, as specified by an ordinance calling for 30 percent of nonfiction figures depicted in works of art to represent women on city-owned property.

LavaThomas_SFPLMA_DisplayBoard_FINAL_071119.jpeg
IMG_0574.jpg
IMG_0576.jpg
IMG_0567.jpg
Left to right: Jules Arthur (finalist), Maya Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle (finalist), and yours truly.

Left to right: Jules Arthur (finalist), Maya Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle (finalist), and yours truly.

The proposals will be on view at the San Francisco Public Library from July 17-31 and are open to public comments. View the proposals online here.

The project was featured in The San Francisco Chronicle in “Statue of Maya Angelou comes into sharp relief as SF diversifies public art” by Heather Knight. Read the article here.

Resistance Reverb: Movements 1 & 2 in the SF Chronicle

Lava Thomas chose as her theme the idea of solidarity, producing a soundless tribute to music — a shower of red tambourines suspended from the ceiling — as a metaphor for community. The tambourine, a wall text points out, is an easily learned instrument that plays a part in the traditional music of numerous cultures around the world. Thomas lightly imposes a reference to her own African American heritage here and there, but keeps the whole an open-ended invitation to unity, as a wall of mirrored instruments incorporates the viewer, the room and, by extension, the world.
— Charles Desmarais, The San Francisco Chronicle
Image credit: Colson Griffith Photography

Image credit: Colson Griffith Photography

Thank you, Charles Desmarais, for featuring Resistance Reverb: Movements 1 & 2, in your review of Be Not Still, Part 2, at the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art. The exhibition will be on view through December 30. 

Read the article | Learn more about the exhibition

Pennsylvania Academy of the fine arts Acquires Prints by the African American Artists of Paulson Fontaine Press

I'm excited to announce that the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has acquired a collection of prints by the African American artists of Paulson Fontaine Press, including Ficticious Self-Portrait (2006) and Xavier (2006). Read more

Ficticious Self Portrait  (2006) Hardground etching on Somerset white textured paper   29.5" x 28"     

Ficticious Self Portrait (2006)
Hardground etching on Somerset white textured paper  
29.5" x 28"     

Xavier  (2006) Hardground etching on Somerset white textured paper   29.5" x 28"     

Xavier (2006)
Hardground etching on Somerset white textured paper  
29.5" x 28"     

Watch online | SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM PANEL WITH ALFREDO JAAR, SAM GILLIAM, AND MODERATOR E. CARMEN RAMOS: "Contemporary Artists in Conversation with History: 1968"

Footage from the SAAM panel, Contemporary Artists in Conversation with History: 1968, is now available online. The event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assasination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Watch it below and visit SAAM's video archive for more information.

Alfredo Jaar,  SAAM Deputy Chief Curator E. Carmen Ramos, Lava Thomas, and Sam Gilliam. Photo © Bruce Guthrie 

Alfredo Jaar,  SAAM Deputy Chief Curator E. Carmen Ramos, Lava Thomas, and Sam Gilliam. Photo © Bruce Guthrie 

IMG_7279.jpg
E. Carmen Ramos, Alfredo Jaar, Sam Gilliam, and Lava Thomas

E. Carmen Ramos, Alfredo Jaar, Sam Gilliam, and Lava Thomas

Contemporary Artists in Conversation with History: 1968 at SAAM

CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION WITH HISTORY: 1968
SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM

F ST NW & 8TH ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20004
APRIL 4 | 6:30 - 7:45

I am participating on a panel with Sam Gilliam and Alfredo Jaar at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on April 4. The event, Contemporary Artists in Conversation with History: 1968, falls on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. The conversation will be moderated by SAAM Deputy Chief Curator, E. Carmen Ramos. 

In addition to discussing Requiem for Charleston, I'll be discussing new work currently in progress: A series of portraits based on mugshots of women who helped lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott.