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Meet Barbara A. Thomason

Today we’d like to introduce you to Barbara A. Thomason.

Born in San Diego, Barbara A. Thomason received her Master’s Degree in printmaking at California State University, Long Beach. After graduation, she worked as a master printer in lithography at Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles for artists Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Claus Oldenburg, Elsworth Kelly, Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, Joe Goode, and Robert Rauschenberg.

Barbara Thomason has had numerous exhibitions in California. Selected galleries, museums and university facilities include the Pacific Asia Museum, Space Gallery, representing Thomason (70’s- 80’s); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, University of Redlands Peppers Galley, Laguna Art Museum, Oceanside Museum of Art and the Armory Center for the Arts and Los Angeles City Hall. Her artwork is found in national and international art collections. She has also completed several site-specific public art pieces, both murals, and fabricated pieces.

Barbara has taught painting, drawing, and printmaking extensively and has participated in several academic projects. She has been on the faculty of Otis College of Art and Design, University of California Santa Cruz, University of Redlands, Ryman Arts at USC, University of Alaska and Cal Poly Pomona. She was the gallery director at the University of Redlands Peppers Art Gallery for five years.

Prospect Park Books published a book of her paintings and writings in 2014 titled “One Hundred Not So Famous Views of L. A.”

Barbara is currently working on a large series of paintings about the Pacific Coastline called “Coastal Disturbance.”

Please tell us about your art.
Art has been a lifelong journey that has taken many forms, from portraiture, cityscape, abstraction, murals and social commentary. I am currently a painter but have worked in public art, printmaking, and sculpture. I am also an author.

My last series was based on Los Angeles. The style referenced my love of Japanese printmaker Hiroshige’s series “100 Famous Views of Edo”. Prospect Park Books published these paintings in September 2014 as “100 Not So Famous Views of L.A.” These paintings were intended to be a visual conversation between East and West and a love letter to Los Angeles.

I am currently working on a new series “Coastal Disturbance.” This series addresses our coastline and how it has been changed by human activities. I spent my childhood on the coast and know what has been lost. These paintings began as a response to my anger about environmental damage but gradually evolved and expanded to encompass a meditation on the passing of time and the beauty of the ocean. Global warming is on the cusp of forever changing our entire coastline. People need to be reminded that the coast is a wilderness and should be treated with respect. Development needs to be tempered with the reality of consequences. Continuing to degrade the ocean and coastline with impunity is no longer an option.

I would love to exhibit these works at a venue where viewers would be engaged in a dialogue about our future on the coast. I want to enhance an awareness of the coastal environment and how high the stakes are.

I have completed sixty-eight paintings since 2013 and have no set number planned. The project encompasses the entire U. S. Pacific Coast from Southern California through Washington State. The works are small in scale, 20”x16” and are painted in cel vinyl.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
Most artists are not good at self-promotion. I know I am not. I think getting the work out and seen is one of the biggies.

The other is respect. Many people think art should be free or cheap. Making art is hard work, and most artists have professional degrees but are not treated fairly. People do not understand how much time and money artists have to spend to make and show art. There includes art supplies, studio space, framing, matting, transporting, photographing and insuring. Art is a job and a business.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have a portfolio web site and a sales web site for the 100 views series.

The addresses are:

Portfolio: bathomason.com

Sales site: www.100notsofamousviewsofla.com

I am currently in two shows that run through January 2019.

West Los Angeles College Gallery, Culver City, CA , a group show called “Bridges and People” curated by Mollie Barnes.
Meze Gallery at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood a group show called “Visions of Water” curated by Baha Danesh

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
William A. McEwan

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