UW-Whitewater grad returning to host art exhibit

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Staff | August 6, 2014

WHITEWATER-- William Paul Thomas will exhibit “Notes from a Treacherous Climb” Sept. 4 through Sept. 21 at the Whitewater Arts Alliance's Cultural Arts Center, 402 W. Main St., Whitewater.

A reception for Thomas will be held Sunday, Sept. 14 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center.

Born in Chicago, Thomas earned degrees in art from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2009, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2013.

As a teaching fellow, he taught basic drawing and composition and worked directly with advanced painting students. He spent three consecutive summers serving as an instructor for the Upward Bound and federally-funded TRIO programs, teaching traditional photography, basic drawing, and digital imaging to teenagers from inner city Milwaukee. In 2010, Thomas was hired as a camera operator and editor for the City of Whitewater assisting in the production of municipal and educational video projects.

Thomas has exhibited work in The Museum of Science and Industry's annual Black Creativity exhibition. His work is on permanent display at UW-Whitewater, and his past shows at the SweetSpot and the Cultural Arts Center sparked several commissioned paintings.

In addition to his exhibition at the Cultural Arts Center, his work will be featured at Roberta's Gallery in the University Center from August 18th through September 18th, and he will also deliver the keynote address at the College of Arts and Communication's fall convocation event on Tuesday, Sept.16, in the Young Auditorium.

Thomas was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation award in 2011. His visual practice involves exploring issues of race, identity, and commodity through his own personal narrative. He also received the Chancellor's Selection Award at the Annual Juried Student Show at Crossman Gallery in 2007.  

Mark McPhail, dean of UW-Whitewater's College of Arts and Communication, and president of the Whitewater Arts Alliance, said he's excited about Thomas' return to campus.

“The theme for this year's convocation is 'belonging,' and I can't think of anyone who better embodies that theme than William Thomas,” McPhail said. “His portraiture speaks to the power and beauty of personal relationship, and his sense of connection with the department of art and design, the college, and the university, reflects a strong and enduring bond with this community. It is an honor and a pleasure to host his work again here in Whitewater.”

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