Artist-in-Residence: Lila Thomas

Summer – Fall 2022

Welcome to our new Artist in Residence! Lila Thomas is a black queer Seattle-based visual artist from Southern Louisiana. She received her BFA in Drawing/Painting at Nicholls State University. Her work consists of portraits and intimate interior scenes where she uses light and color to sincerely represent the people in her life and transform mundane environments into immersive spaces. Lila’s work has been shown in the Amen Art Gallery at Nicholls State University, Lilith Pole Studios, Inside studios, and at a national juried art exhibition in the Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she won Best of Show. Lila is currently working on drawings and paintings at this Residency.

Lila Thomas’ Artist Statement:

In my work, I explore themes of identity, family history, and cultural exchange through food,
music, and mutual understanding of generational trauma. I’ve lived in Seattle for a year now and I’ve found a sense of community with folks throughout different diasporas. Connecting over topics like food, shared culture, and music has been healing to my sense of being. I feel
grounded being around people who share a sense of understanding. I want to share an honest
representation of their identity by creating an intimate and immersive setting for the viewer.

I create this intimate and immersive experience by using light and color to depict familiar
spaces of my life with visual beauty. I achieve this by emphasizing the steady movement of light
in the composition. I give hints about the subject’s interests and identity by including objects of
importance to the individual.

I am driven to create these honest and beautiful depictions, due to the lack of representation of black and queer folks in comfort or at ease in the canon of Western art. I want my work to act as a vessel of escapism for people who have faced generational trauma and injustices in our society because we deserve a sense of solace too.