Born in Dyersburg, Tennessee, Bryan Keith Thomas received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1996. Thomas Currently resides in Oakland, California, where he works as an Associate Professor at the California College of the Arts, in San Francisco & Oakland, CA.
Thomas received the “White House Honor” as a guest of First Lady Laura Bush, for work with the Art in Embassies Program (Washington, DC.) His work has also been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally at Art Basel (Miami, Fl), Meridian Gallery (San Francisco, CA) ; the Joyce Gordon Gallery (Oakland, CA) ; Gallery Guichard (Chicago, IL) ; ArtJaz Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) ; E&S Gallery (Louisville, KY) the American Embassy ( Dakar, Senegal) ; Du Sable Museum ( Chicago, IL) among others. His paintings are also included in several private collections across the United States.
The theme of my work is the celebration of the Black experience through its historic symbols; cotton, roses and the African and African American image. Growing up in the South, I remember how Southern Matriarchs adorned in tailored white dresses and glowing ebony skin, simply by standing in a doorway, could exude a presence that would completely envelope the room. They celebrated the luxury of being- Black, Southern, and eternal icons. It is this respectability of the human figure, residing in a holy moment that I wish to engage the viewer.
As I continue on my present journey, I will always give homage to those people and experience that brought me here. All the things that I remember about my past, cultivate, clarify and define my now.