Kim Thoman has been exhibiting nationally for more than 35 years. She has art degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State University and was an art professor in the Peralta Community College District for over 30 years. Selected grants include the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of Taos, New Mexico, Vermont Studio Center Residency Grant and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Change Grant.
A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Kim Thoman’s interest in art showed up at an early age. This inclination led her to study ceramics at the University of California, Davis, then to UC Berkeley, where she studied painting and drawing. Graduate work culminated in an MFA in ceramic sculpture in 1979. Today, Thoman paints and makes steel wall sculptures and Embellished Paintings that combine her paintings and steel sculpture.
In a time when there is so much conflict in the world, Kim Thoman finds beauty in opposition. “I am always aware that duality exists in everything,” she explains. “Opposing forces inform the world around me—intellect and intuition, male and female, stillness and movement, body and soul, light and dark, the organized and chaotic, and of course, life and death. I strive to bring these dualities into balance, to present a ‘truth’ by showing its opposing energies.”
In the words of art critic Peter Frank…“If we can take away a moral and social lesson from Kim Thoman’s oeuvre, it is that conflict resolution lies within each of us…Thoman doesn’t resolve conflicts, but reveals their superficiality. At heart, everything is in union.”
“I feel extremely lucky to be creative and I require myself to learn from my creativity,” Thoman says, reflecting on her mission as an artist. “While I work abstractly, images from nature quite often hatch out—tree branches, leaves, sometimes petals of flowers or a horizon line and clouds. My work teaches me about my connection to nature. For me, the practical application of duality requires that I live a life that takes into account ‘the other’ in hope of greater appreciation for and acceptance of diversity and differences among us. Whether any sliver of this seeps into the hearts and minds of my viewers—well, I should be so lucky!”
Kim’s work is represented in Arizona by Wilde Meyer Galleries. Click on any piece to enlarge it.