How did showing in the exhibition impact your career as an artist?
“First, it was wonderful to show with other Black Women whose work takes on similar subjects, similar successes, similar struggles. This was one of the first of my exhibitions that was used as a subject for a Main Line Arts Center class’ project, which I was excited to receive photos from. Last semester, I was able to add attendance to the show as optional credit for students at University of Pennsylvania, and the University of the Arts. The recorded Artist Talk on Zoom was viewed by two official organizations, who have asked to collaborate in future projects and academic discussion. The show’s documentation has been used for sites, grant and fellowship applications, and the show review in 2023 with Art Blog Philadelphia has been added to my resume.”
Through figure and portrait painting/drawing, Patricia’s work questions the repercussions of hyper-visibility, our physical safety existing in a racialized society, Black fugitivity, and public voyeurism using the motif of camouflage. Her work has been manifesting new places from old places, manipulating insidious socialized rules that even creep into the spaces we so injudiciously deem racially neutral. Although figures hide themselves from viewers and dangers within the compositions alike, they look to frequent the woods without fear, lay in any space without harrassment, where nature and their bodies are not policed, colonized, raped, shot, or poisoned and immersion into a femme safe haven is encouraged.
Patricia Renee’ Thomas (b. 1995) is a Philadelphia-based painter, drawer, and art educator, with a BFA from Tyler School of Art and Architecture, a MFA from University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design with a certificate in University Education. She has recently exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions with the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center in Chicago, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, The Colored Girls Museum in Philadelphia, PA, The Delaware Contemporary in Wilmington, DE as well as Kravets-Wehby Gallery in Chelsea, New York, Kapp Kapp Gallery in Philadelphia, and Gaa Gallery in Cologne, Germany. She is a 2021 recipient of the Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art in collaboration with The Colored Girls Museum, and a 2021 recipient of the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship with University of Pennsylvania. Thomas was an arts educator at Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia; a Black History and social justice community staple and is currently an oil painting, drawing and thesis instructor at University of Pennsylvania, and University of the Arts.