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FRESH Artist Profile: Barbara Campbell Thomas

FRESH Feature

Find out more about Barbara Campbell Thomas, one of 27 artists juried into the FRESH exhibition at Artspace.


Barbara Campbell Thomas’s work engages the daily challenge of locating ourselves amidst the barrage of imagery and information that is characteristic of 21st century life; her paintings and collages capitalize on fragmentation, the unexpected results arising from a commingling of different materials, and an interest in finding idiosyncratic order amidst disorder.

Dragon Drop

Dragon Drop

Like a sieve moving through every moment of every day, Campbell Thomas’s paintings siphon the onslaught of words, text and images, sounds, textures and physical stuff into piecemeal orderings of stacked lines, quasi-geometric forms and blippy brush marks–all in concert with collaged pieces of thrifted fabric. These nearly chaotic, adamantly physical works are a means of building some kind of ecstatic, exuberant, ever unfolding space analogous to our dense sensory existence.

Barbara Campbell Thomas’s work has been exhibited nationally, in such venues as the Weatherspoon Art Museum, CAM Raleigh, the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Marcia Wood Gallery, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan, A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, New York and 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. She received her MFA from the University of California, Berkeley (2000) and her BFA from the Pennsylvania State University (1998). She has been an artist-in-residence three times at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, Georgia, as well as at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. Additionally, she was a fellow at the Yale Summer School of Music and Art in Norfolk, Connecticut.

Barbara Campbell Thomas lives and works in Climax, North Carolina.

Fun Fact!

I shook President Bill Clinton’s hand at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC when I was 18 years old!

Don’t miss these upcoming FRESH events:

FRESH Opening – First Friday, June 5th, 6 – 10pm: Juried show opening, free and open to the public.

Panel Discussion – June 11th, 6 – 8pm: An opportunity for participating artists to meet and greet with juror Cora Fischer, SECCA. With Bill Thelen, LUMP and

Closing Reception – June 25th, 6 – 8pm: Join us for a closing reception to thank the artists and other supporters of this exhibition.

About Mary Kay Kennedy

Development & Communications Manager

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