Drawing from her family’s Southern roots and current and historical socio-political events, artist Lava Thomas centers on ideas that amplify visibility, healing, and empowerment in the face of erasure, trauma, and oppression.
Lava Thomas was born in Los Angeles, CA. She studied at UCLA’s School of Art Practice and received a BFA from California College of the Arts. Thomas is a recipient of the 2021 Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize, the 2020 San Francisco Artadia Award and a 2019-2021 Lucas Artists Fellowship Award at Montalvo Arts Center. Thomas has participated in artist residencies at Facebook Los Angeles (2020), Headlands Center for the Arts (2018) and the Djerassi Resident Artist Program. In 2015 she received the Joan Mitchell Grant for Painters and Sculptors.
Thomas is represented by Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco.
Learn more about Lava Tomas and her upcoming projects.
Lava Thomas’ monument to Maya Angelou for the San Francisco Public library, titled Portrait of a Phenomenal Woman.
Images courtesy of Lava Thomas
About Local Voices
Local Voices is a new podcast series from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco designed to celebrate art and Bay Area creativity. Local Voices highlights unique perspectives from Bay Area visual artists, musicians, scholars, community leaders, and thinkers aimed to reframe exhibitions and collections through relevant and local narratives. Through these diverse access points, we welcome the Bay Area community and beyond to engage in meaningful and inspiring narratives.