Jesse Thomas The Order of Things – April 6, 2017
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The Order of Things
Jesse is the Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Painting in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta. He received an MFA in Painting from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2003 and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993. His 2016 solo exhibition at the Zhengzhou University of Light Industry in China consisted of 50 works representing the past 5 years of his studio production. Previous solo exhibitions of his paintings have been held in Edmonton, St Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Jesse previously taught painting, drawing, and 2D design at Washington University in St Louis. He’s also taught painting and drawing in Cortona, Italy for the University of Georgia and for the U of A Study Abroad as well as painting courses in Florence, Italy for WUSTL.
Speaking to Jesse you will find he is comfortable talking about anything from bacon, to history, to architecture and of course his art. His work is influenced by where he has been, the magic that is out there, and how people use art politically. You will see German signs and statues in his work from a trip abroad. He paints of bone gangs and musicians from his days in New Orleans.
Jesse is fascinated about how early science was discovered. This comes to life through depictions of stars and eyeball shaped plants, images that spurred certain scientific discoveries. Look at his work and you will see hidden letters as a reference to how science, art, music, are all messages.
The work is still in process. In fact a colleague of Jesse’s remarked that he saw substantial changes in one particular painting since the last exhibit. The next time you see this work it will likely be different again. Will he sell the work? Maybe one day, but he isn’t ready to part with this collection yet.