Artists with a uniquely South Dakotan perspective exhibit their work on The Garage's walls, inspiring conversations and questions.
Current Exhibition: Works by Tom Thorson
Artist Reception: Thursday, August 23 from 5–7pm
Tom Thorson grew up in Rapid City camping and hiking on a near daily basis in the Black Hills and felt imprinted on this place, though whether by “this place” he means the Black Hills or planet earth he's not sure. During a watercolor lesson in the fifth grade he got the paper too wet so that when the pigment charged brush touched the paper the pigment flowed out onto the whole of the paper as if directly from his body, his heart. It was electrifying and he knew then he would be an artist. Formal education continued through a bachelors degree at South Dakota State University, a Fellowship at Yale University, and in the workshop of Jean Pierre Tessier in Paris, France. It was dreaming of pine trees that drew him back to the Black Hills and it was helping on sheep and cattle ranches and camping that settled his roots back into place.
On a field trip to the Minneapolis Art Institute during college years he experienced a large painting by the great colorist, Pierre Bonnard, “Dining Room In The Country”. He felt it said everything to him and while in Paris he hunted high and low to see more of his paintings but to no avail. Back in Rapid City, having left painting to explore other media and ideas, Tom learned of the delayed retrospective of Pierre Bonnard’s life’s work, finally saw many more of his paintings and began again to paint.
His career has been kept close to home and subject matter with some exhibits as far flung as the hi way patrol headquarters, his private room in Paris, a bar in Kansas, galleries in New York City and New York State, some art institutes around the country and South Dakota and in just about every college and university and many libraries in South Dakota. He has been affiliated with the South Dakota Artists Network, Artists Of The Black Hills, and served on the exhibits committee at the Dahl Arts Center. Tom's paintings have been displayed in senate offices in Washington DC, purchased into the national offices of corporations, but most gratifying to him they have been bought and hung in homes around this and other countries.
I have come to feel that painting is a means to amplify and celebrate and that the images I make serve to give more voice to things or ideas or feelings that I wish to increase in the world. All along my career of some 40 years of painting, from the beginning, color has been the attraction. For a few years I experimented with other media and ideas but it was color that drew me back to what sometimes feels like an old fashioned yet highly satisfying approach to art. All these years I have been exploring the evocative possibilities of how color can serve a subject matter while in turn the subject matter serves a cultural identification. Color is the meeting place between reason and emotion, fact and intuition, the external and internal states. Each painting is its own journey and seeks its own resolution.
Showcase Your Artwork at The Garage
The Garage welcomes artists from the Black Hills, and the state of South Dakota, to submit their work for consideration of an artist exhibition at our space. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Learn more and apply below.