Lava Thomas: Homecoming is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of this contemporary artist’s drawing and installation works addressing the relevance of African American history to our current moment. With a variety of drawing techniques, Thomas creates large portraits inspired by photographs of remarkable African American people to tackle issues of representation and memorialization. Her multidisciplinary practice includes painting, photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations. Across media, Thomas centers ideas that amplify visibility, healing, and empowerment in the face of erasure, trauma and oppression. Lava Thomas: Homecoming will bring together thirteen drawings from Thomas’ revelatory series Mugshot Portraits: Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (2018–), the multimedia installation Looking Back (2015), and Decatur (2022), a new set of drawings and prints that will debut in the exhibition.
Curated by Bridget R. Cooks, Professor and Chancellor’s Fellow, Department of African American Studies and Department of Art History, University of California, Irvine.
Support for this exhibition at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is provided by The Wish Foundation.