Artist Statement

K.  Kim Thomas

My works are a visual discussion around climate change, nature, and our insatiable consumer culture. As an intersection between all three issues, found single-use plastics are often used as a key material in my artwork. In manipulating debris through a variety of media — primarily sculpture, installation, and printmaking — I present the viewer with an everyday object in an unexpected, new form.

I am particularly interested in the way these forms mimic human consumption and its relationship to pollution, which spreads over and suffocates the world around us, just as plastics become entangled in the environment.

My works are abstract embodiments of this process, usually on a larger scale, in an attempt to envelop the scope of issues we face in the​​ Anthropocene. Each piece brings with it the narrative associated with its materiality, the juxtaposition of nature and manmade, and challenges the viewer to contemplate their own relationship with these materials.

Educational Background

MFA in Studio Art, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN 2010-2012

BA in Corporate Communication, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 1998-2001

Solo Exhibitions

July 2023 “The Open Chapter of Plastic” Saul Alexander Gallery, Charleston, SC

November 2011 “Brooks Introduces: Kim Thomas” Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN

Group Exhibitions

UPCOMING July 2024 Park Circle Gallery,​​ N. Charleston,  SC 

UPCOMING January-March 2024 Public Works Art Center,​​ Summerville, SC 

September-November 2023, “Under the Radar” Redux Contemporary Art Center,  Charleston, SC

April 2023 “Tour de Earth Day” Earth Day Bike Tour with Charleston Climate Coalition, Charleston, SC

March 2023  “Everything is Sculpture” Bells Gallery, Dothan, AL

July-September 2022 “The Ecology of Dreams(& Other Future Realities)” Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SC

November 2017-2019, 2022 Redux Annual Art Auction, Charleston, SC

May-April 2017 “Awakening V: King Tide” Royal American, Charleston, SC

April 2017 Highwater Festival in conjunction with Charleston Waterkeepers, Charleston, SC

Spring 2016 “ETV Group Show: Spring 2016” ETV Headquarters through Palmetto Curatorial Exchange, Columbia, SC

June 2015 “Awakening III: Solstice” June 2015 Huger and Hanover Streets, Charleston, SC

April 2014 & 2015 “ArtFields” Lake City, SC

June 2014 “Awakening II: Fieldwork” 1600 Meeting St., Charleston, SC

July 2013 “Awakening” 1600 Meeting St., Charleston, SC

March-April 2013 ”Climate Change: Conveying Realities” EcoArtLab, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

September 2012 “Art of Science” in conjunction with research scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Hyde Gallery, Memphis, TN

August 2012 ”Rebellion” Museo del Brigantaggio, Itri, Italy

May 2012 “Consumer Culture” Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL

April 2012 “Influx: MFA Thesis Exhibition” Hyde Gallery, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN

March 2012 “Unstable Natures” Latitude 53, Alberta, Canada

February 2012 “Sustain” University Museum, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

January 2012 “MFA Students’ Exhibition” Lower Gallery, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN

May 2011 “MFA Selected Works” Hyde Gallery, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN

April 2011 “again.again.again: Works by Josh Brinlee, Julie Smetana, Emily Stout and Kim Thomas” Broad Avenue Art Walk, Memphis,TN

February 2011 “Art in Response” Caritas Gallery, Memphis, TN

January 2011 “MFA Students’ Exhibition” Lower Gallery, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN

Land Based Installations

June 2023 “FOREVER” Mother’s Milk Residency, Newton, KS

April 2022 “FOREVER” McCloskey installation, Johns Island, SC

Professional Experience

Mother’s Milk Residency, Wichita, KS, June 2023

Lightning Residency, Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SC June 2022-July 2022

Visual Art Teacher, Cane Bay High, Summerville, SC, August 2018-present

Visual Art Teacher, Cane Bay Elementary, Summerville, SC, August 2016-2018

Visual Art Teacher, Garrett Academy of Technology, North Charleston, SC, August 2015-June 2016 Adjunct Instructor of Sculpture, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, Spring 2014-Spring 2015

Adjunct Instructor of Art Appreciation, Trident Technical College, N. Charleston, SC, Spring 2014-2015

2D Design Adjunct Instructor, Trident Technical College, N. Charleston, SC, Spring 2014

Artist Talk, Introduction to Printmaking, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, April 3, 2013

Artist Lecture, Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN, December 1, 2011

Bibliography

Robin Howar, “Under the Radar,” Charleston Magazine, September 2023 

Chloe Hogan, “Thomas transforms plastic waste into art” July 16, 2023 

Surge: The Lowcountry Climate Magazine cover, Issue 3, Winter 2022

Adam Parker, “Rising Concern,” Post and Courier, April 23, 2017, Life section, front Dwayne Butcher, “Kim Thomas Interview,” Visual Memphis, June 3, 2012

Jim Brock, “Art From The Recycling Bin,” Germantown News, January 4, 2012, 4A

Affiliations

2017-present National Art Education Association Member

2010-2013 College Art Association Member

Grants

Bright Ideas Grant, “Marine Life Environmental Awareness through Ceramic Arts,” 2022

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