Biography


Born in 1969 in Arkansas, Christopher Marion Thomas, is an artist with a mission to teach, encourage and edify the "Body of Christ" through the gift of creativity.  His life and work have been documented in several national magazines and he has the distinction of being the youngest artist to be purchased into The Hallmark Corporate Fine Art Collection in 1992.  Christopher is best known for having been chosen as the featured artist for the 2003 National Black History Calendar for SEARS. His art was featured on television and print advertisements, promotional credit cards, and over a “million” poster reproductions freely distributed in every Sears store throughout the United States.  In 2002, Christopher was the only artist chosen by the United States Postal Service to be featured in their national “Business Solutions” campaign. This campaign placed Christopher on a national stage again, and featured his likeness on posters and brochures in every post office in the country.
Not only known for his corporate work, Christopher is also an accomplished illustrator and author, having illustrated editorial features for such magazines as Black Enterprise, The Source, Spa-Finder, and Discipleship Journal.  He has also written, illustrated and published three books of his own.  Christopher's work has been shown in national museums, group and one man exhibitions, including featured speaking engagements at SEARS and Kraft Food's national headquarters, Art Center College of Design, CBS Live, and ABC7 News.  After more than 18 years of being a practicing self-taught painter, with a passion to serve God and humanity with his talents, Christopher enthusiastically entered Art Center College of Design to pursue his dream of being the first in his family to graduate from college. Christopher lives and works in Houston, Texas and shares his life and love with his wife Carnita and their two sons Christian and Caleb.

Education

 

     Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

Artist Statement


My work stands at the intersection between Faith and Figuration; designed to fuse beauty and substance into a union that stirs the soul and encourages the heart.  

Conceptually, I create paintings that are visual parables, where meaning is simultaneously available and mysteriously elusive. My current body of work is informed by my lifelong investigation of historic Biblical narratives and iconographic imagery. It is my hope to not merely make canonized imagery “look” contemporary, but rather to lend authenticity and passion to the creation of contemporary Biblically inspired works of art.

Formally, my paintings are a multilayered, mixed media combination of form, symbolism, and text. I love the interplay between figuration, typography, collage, and surface texture; which allows my work to resonate on many different levels, and for many different people.

Like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Henry Ossawa Tanner, it is my prayer to simply add my vision and voice to the glorious history of canonized art. I am thankful to be blessed to use my gifts as a painter, not merely to become successful, but rather to be significant in the lives of those who are encouraged, and uplifted by my endeavors.


Artist CV


Selected Solo Exhibitions 


     2016     "Doxa", Samara Gallery, Houston, TX

     2015     The Bert Long Gallery, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Houston, TX
     2007     “The Journey: A Mid-career Retrospective”, Upstairs at the Market Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 
     2004     National Black History Month Calendar Celebration, Sears Corporate Offices, Hoffman Estates, IL
     2002     “Visions”, ETA Creative Arts Foundation, Chicago, IL
     1999     “C.M.Thomas”, M.C. Ginsberg’s Objects of Art, Iowa City, IA
     1997     “Featured Artist Series”, Kraft Foods National Headquarters, IL
     1990     “A Look Inside”, M.C. Ginsberg’s Objects of Art, Iowa City, IA
     1989     “Introducing Christopher M. Thomas”, University of Iowa, IA

Selected Group Exhibitions

     2015     Citywide African American Artists Exhibition, Sponsored  by Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX  
     2011     “Black Creativity”, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL
     2010     Art Center College of Design, Student Gallery, Pasadena, CA
     2007     “Unselfish Act”, Upstairs at the Market Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
                  “Open Call LA”, Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
     2005     “Walking in His Path”, Tilford Art Group, Los Angeles, CA
     2004     “Philadelphia Art Expo”, Philadelphia, PA
                  “Decor Art Expo”, Atlanta, GA
     2001     “Chicago Renaissance”, Chicago State University, IL
     2000     “COLOR”, National Black Fine Art Exposition, Chicago, IL
     1999     “National Carroll Simms Exhibition”, African American Museum, Dallas, TX
                  “Black Creativity”, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL
     1995     “Artist/Teacher Exhibition”, Marwen Foundation, Chicago, IL

Selected Speaking Engagements 

     2010     Art Center College of Design, Student Orientation (Peer Mentor), Pasadena, CA
     2009     Art Center College of Design, Tink Adams Society Dinner, (featured Speaker), Pasadena, CA
     2004     National Black History Month Calendar Celebration, Sears Corporate Offices, Hoffman Estates, IL
                  Contemporary Artist series, Otis College of Art + Design, Los Angeles, CA
     1997     “Featured Artist Series”, Kraft Foods National Headquarters, IL

Awards and Honors

     2004     Commendation from the Mayor of Inglewood, CA
     2003     Certificate of Merit (editorial), Society of Illustrators, LA, CA
     1999     CAAP Grant, Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, IL

Selected Collections

     McDonald’s Corporate Fine Art Collection, IL
     Sears, Roebuck and Company, Hoffman Estates, IL
     The Hallmark Fine Art Collection, Kansas City, MO
     The Ginsberg Family Collection, IA
     Dr. Kenneth Ulmer, CA
     Dr. Jeremiah Wright, IL
     Dr. Surrenthia Parker, Chicago, IL
     Various private collectors throughout North America 

Publications

     2004     Studio Visit Magazine (Edition #28, 2015) “Book Review (Thou ART Holy)”, Gospel Today, 09/2004
     2003     Sears’ National Black History Campaign, (Featured Artist)
                  “Up Close with Christopher M. Thomas”, Images Magazine
     2002     United States Postal Service “Business Solutions” (Feature)
                  “The Healing Power of Music”, Spa Finder, May/June 2002
                  “The Gifted Hands of Christopher M. Thomas”, Gospel Today
     2001     “Art Talk” and “To Tell The Truth”, Discipleship Journal, Issue #126
                  “All’s Quiet”, The SOURCE, Issue #144

                  “Running the Race Factor: Is it in you?”, CODE Magazine, 01/2001 “CODE Contributors”, CODE Magazine, 01/2001             

                  “Against All Odds”, Black Enterprise Magazine, 02/2001

                  “Out of Darkness”, Upscale Magazine, (Feature Article) 03/2001
     1999     “Cash Rules...”, The SOURCE, Issue #120
     1992     “1992 Acquisitions”, Hallmark Cards Corporate Art Collection
     1989     “Painting His Way”, Iowa City Press Citizen

SAMARA Gallery

3100 Richmond Ave - Suite 104

Houston TX 77098

info@samaragallery.com

713.999.1009

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