Gary Thomas
  • Male
  • Bonfield, IL
  • United States
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Profile Information

Organization or Business Name
Olivet Nazarene University
Contact Email
gthomas@olivet.edu
Website
http://garthoma.blogspot.com/
Art Interests
Art Criticism, Art History, Arts Ministry, Drawing, Liturgical Design, Printmaking, Works on Paper
Artist / Personal Statement
My intention for my art is that it be an act of worship that reflects an aspect of the beauty of God to others. I think this can best be described by one particular act of worship from scripture. In St. John’s Gospel, chapter 12 we find an interesting story. A woman interrupts a dinner by pouring expensive, fragrant oil upon Christ’s head. One can imagine the response of those present. Many were curious at the scene, some perplexed by the interruption; at least one was angry at the seeming expensive waste. There are two interesting aspects to this story. One is the uninhibited, unselfconscious worship of the woman. The other is the fact that things which do not seem important to us are important to Christ. One thing which will kill the power of our art is self-consciousness. It creates a hindrance in our working process. Self-consciousness usually comes from being concerned with what others think of us. If this woman was concerned about what the others in the room thought, her act would have been awkward and inhibited and would not have glorified Christ. My hunch is if she was concerned about what the others thought she simply would not have done this beautiful thing. The fact that this is included in the scriptures tells us that these kinds of acts of beauty are valued by God. He is pleased by them. God is not just some administrator in the sky, making sure everything we do has some practical benefit. Beauty is not always practical. It is often a struggle for Christian artists to make things of beauty because we are not meeting practical needs. However, if we are called to make art then we are best worshipping God by making art… simply doing what he called us to do.

Fragrance
One other interesting thing to note about this story is the fact that others were affected by the fragrance. The fragrance filled the room. As a Christian artist I am called to create my art in the freedom that comes from having an ongoing relationship with Christ. I recognize the source of my talent and bless the giver of the gift by continuing to develop my skill and serve in the context where I am called to serve. With my art I wish to give uninhibited non-self-conscious worship to my Lord. When I do these things I hope the fragrance of my act will fill my world with some aspect of the beauty of God.
Accomplishments / CV
Gary Thomas
2472 N 7000 W rd.
Bonfield, IL
60913
Home Phone: (815) 954-1059
E-mail gthomas@olivet.edu

Education
MFA 2000 Printmaking, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
BFA 1997 Drawing, Ball State University
Areas of specialization: Painting, Drawing, Printmaking

Professional Experience
Present
Associate Prof. of Art: Olivet Nazarene University
Foundations coordinator, painting, drawing, printmaking, art history
2005-2007


Selected Solo and Juried Exhibition Record
Ongoing: Gallery representation by Gallerie Penumbra, Indy
2010 Making Marks (3 person exhibition)
Union St. Gallery
Chicago Heights, IL

2009 Retrospective of My Woodcuts
Old Courthouse Gallery
Watseka, IL

2009 One Person Exhibition of Recent Woodcuts
Moon Monkey Coffee Co.
Bourbonnais, IL

2009 New Artists Showcase
Tall Grass Arts Association
Park Forest, IL

2008 Gretchen Charlton Gallery Regional Juried Art Exhibition
Bradley, IL
(purchase award for my woodcut print)

2008 New Faculty Exhibition
Olivet Nazarene University
Bourbonnais, IL

2007 Taylor/Anderson Faculty Art Show
Beard Art Center
Indiana Wesleyan University
Marion, IN

2005 In The Spirit
One person exhibition of paintings on canvas at Gallery Penumbra
Indianapolis, IN

Glory Be
Faculty Exhibition
Taylor University, Upland, IN

2004 Blue Christmas
Harrison Center for the Arts,
Indianapolis, IN

Biannual Faculty Exhibition
Culver-Stockton College, Canton, MO

Liturgical and Sacred Art
Springfield Art Center
Springfield, IL

2003 Glossolalia, Solo Exhibition
Taylor University,
Upland, IN

2002 Salon Soiree
Quincy Art Center
Quincy, IL

2001 From the Kitchen Table
One Person Show
Canton Arts Council
Canton, MO

Artlink National Print Show
Artlink
Fort Wayne, IN

2000 Mary S. Oakley Area Artists Showcase
Quincy Art Center
Quincy, IL

Union Images 2000 Chicago Federation of Labor
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago, IL

The Glove Factory
Highwire Gallery
Philadelphia, Pa

Fra Angelica Art Foundation Spiritual Art
Nichole Gallery
Chicago, IL

1997 First Salon and Exchange of Postcard Art
Instituto de Artes-Universdade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Brazil

1996 Northern Indiana Arts Assoc. Annual Show
Munster, IN
(Juror: Ed Paschke)


Other Service and Activities
Teaching various drawing workshop both private and group
2009 Painted outdoor mural downtown Kankakee, IL. Schuyler Ave.
2006 Art Critic for Muncie Star Press weekly, All Access Art and Entertainment Guide

2003 ACE (Academic and Cultural Events) Lecture: From Representation to Abstraction: The Journey of an Artist (Nov. 18, 2003)
Culver-Stockton College

Food For Thought, Presented paper to faculty on Post-Modernism and Evangelicalism
Culver-Stockton College

2002 Worked with art students to design and paint mural for inner city outreach center in Quincy, IL

2000-04 Juried and judged several area art shows and competitions

Affiliations
CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts)
CAA (College Art Association)
Southern Graphics Council
FATE (Foundations in Art Theory and Education)

Comment Wall (2 comments)

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At 4:11pm on September 10, 2012, Rojean M Maciula said…

Gary,

Thank you for your inspiring artist's statement. I repeat part of it and say Amen.

"My intention for my art is that it be an act of worship that reflects an aspect of the beauty of God to others. I think this can best be described by one particular act of worship from scripture. In St. John’s Gospel, chapter 12 we find an interesting story. A woman interrupts a dinner by pouring expensive, fragrant oil upon Christ’s head. One can imagine the response of those present. Many were curious at the scene, some perplexed by the interruption; at least one was angry at the seeming expensive waste. There are two interesting aspects to this story. One is the uninhibited, unselfconscious worship of the woman. The other is the fact that things which do not seem important to us are important to Christ. One thing which will kill the power of our art is self-consciousness. It creates a hindrance in our working process. Self-consciousness usually comes from being concerned with what others think of us. If this woman was concerned about what the others in the room thought, her act would have been awkward and inhibited and would not have glorified Christ. My hunch is if she was concerned about what the others thought she simply would not have done this beautiful thing. The fact that this is included in the scriptures tells us that these kinds of acts of beauty are valued by God. He is pleased by them. God is not just some administrator in the sky, making sure everything we do has some practical benefit. Beauty is not always practical. It is often a struggle for Christian artists to make things of beauty because we are not meeting practical needs. However, if we are called to make art then we are best worshipping God by making art… simply doing what he called us to do."

At 9:46am on May 10, 2012, Cameron J. Anderson said…

Gary, glad to have you back!

 
 
 

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