Rejina Thomas: Exhibition Opening
Thu October 26 @ 9:00 pm| Free
Rejina Thomas—a legendary glass artist, painter, metal worker, based in Austin, Texas—is the focus of a new retrospective exhibition organized by the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural & Genealogy Center. On view from October 12, 2017, to February 28, 2018, State of Ascension: Mixed Media Vessel Works by Rejina Thomas, features art from the last two decades. The themes embodied in her meticulously crafted containers and paintings position the womb as a metaphorical looking glass from which viewers experience and understand the world. Inspired by the movement of light in glass, Thomas creates stunning large-scale sculptures, forms and utilitarian vessels that reckon with sources of cultural memory. Informed by her global curiosity, the artist displays a special interest in symbols and cryptic signs from around the world, especially societies in Africa and the African diaspora. Frequently creating triptych paintings that reflect her studies of early Christian art, her use of imagery is profoundly spiritual in both approach and execution. As Thomas states,
Of all the things in this world, creativity is the one thing that I compare to love. Everybody wants it. Nobody knows exactly what it is. But when you have it—you are transformed.
Thomas moved to Austin, Texas, in the 1970s. By the 1980s she founded Graphic Glass Studio on East Fifth Street that would become popularly known as the Pine Street Station. From this base of operation – Thomas, an activist, and entrepreneur helped to found several East Austin cultural institutions including, Alamo Bay Writers Press, The Hope Farmer’s Market and East Austin Studio Tours (EAST).
An alumnus of the prestigious International Pilchuck School of Glass based in Seattle, Washington, Thomas’ artwork is held in private and public collections around the world. Her past clients include the attorney, legislator, and University of Texas law professor Barbara Jordan; former Governor Ann Richards; renowned singer, songwriter, and guitarist B.B. King; and the Texas Legislature. Her works of art have also been presented as state gifts to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico.
The opening reception will be held on Thursday, October 12, 2017, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public.