By Elizabeth Lanier
The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art has a brand new exhibit celebrating the works of the late artist. Thomas was born in Germany in the early 1900’s and was interested in art from a young age. Around his early to mid twenties, Thomas realized his dream was to move to America, so he made that dream a reality a few years later, spending briefs amounts of time in Florida, Illinois, Alabama, and eventually settling down in Atlanta.
The exhibit opened last Thursday, June 22 and is named “Summer” in honor of the six-month vacation Thomas and his wife, Sarah, took to Europe in 1972. Their trip, however, was more than a vacation, as this was Thomas’ first time returning to Europe since his moved to America nearly four decades prior. In fact, their returning to Europe was nothing short of a homecoming for Thomas. The couple traveled to various countries: Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Germany where Thomas would sketch different aspects of each country he visited.
Amy Smoler, curator for this project, explained that the idea for this particular exhibit stemmed from seeing the sketches and drawings from Thomas’ trip and then expanding on the ideas of summer. The paintings are vibrantly colored and, “make you feel happy,” said Smoler.
During the opening for this exhibit, the museum also celebrated its completion of Grants to Green Projects which allowed environmental improvements to the facility throughout the past few years. Smoler mentioned that just one of the many improvements to the museum, for example, was replacing old light bulbs with environmental friendly light bulbs.
The exhibition will be opened from now until early August, and on August 24, the museum will host another opening reception, “Steffen Thomas: A Legacy in Atlanta” as well as celebrating its 20 anniversary as the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art. The exhibition will feature a selection of Thomas’ art as well as some other pieces; it will be opened until late September.