Thomas Washington (aka, thomas the younger) is a Columbia-based multi-media artist who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and grew up in a restrictive Pentecostal family, Washington has pursued art in one form or another since early childhood. After his father was laid off, the family headed to South Carolina. Washington finished his education at Columbia High School. After that, he joined the military, entered the working life, and eventually started a family. He and his wife, Kenyatta, have two children. Washington’s jobs along the way have varied – everything from manual labor and telemarketing to truck driver.
Thomas believes that perhaps the most important pursuit of an artist is the facilitation of Escapism. He approaches each painting as a Narnian door…or that lamppost beyond, coaxing a wanderer into another realm. Since his childhood, he has produced works from this perspective—from being hired (out of high school) to illustrate in a local graphic anthology, he strives to tell stories in every medium; to breathe life into the fantastical by imbuing it with the familiar…and to find fun and fulfillment along the way.
He entertains all sorts of creative notions—the importance of world peace, an unshakeable belief in fundamental similarities that make Humanity one big family and strong opinions on interstellar travel.
His latest paintings, even his experimentation with watercolor, tend to be very focused pieces of work. thomas the younger sees his subjects as both mythic and contemporary. Like the knights of old, they are fighting their own battles, but they are also in a present-day reality where the deck is stacked against them.
The work that has emerged draws from many sources — not just the working life of an artist, but also someone who’s upbringing emphasized that eternal damnation was not an idle concept.
thomas the younger was in conversation with Dr. Napoleon Wells, May 12, 2022.
Jordan Sheridan’s studio practice unites painting, sculpture and installation as she explores the visual dimensions of identity and motherhood. Sheridan received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of South Carolina in 2021, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the College of Charleston in 2011. Her awards include the Graduate Studio Art Research Award from the University of South Carolina, and a residency at Stormwater Studios in Columbia, South Carolina. Sheridan has volunteered for three years with the Amigo Skate Nonprofit; collecting, organizing and transporting skateboard equipment to Cuban youth in Havana. Through this organization she has developed intimate relationships and a deep passion and appreciation for the culture of Cuba.
Sheridan has a three-year-old son, Samuel. Her 2021 thesis exhibition at the University of SC’s McMaster Gallery, The Mother, a painting and textile installation focuses on her identities as a mother and artist. Sheridan observes:
I imagine the maternal experience as an enveloping, polymorphous mass that is ever stretching, fracturing, and shifting. This body of work documents, communicates, and aestheticizes my personal experience of being a mother to my young son, Samuel. Through painting and installation, I visually communicate the paradox of feeling both overwhelmed and spellbound as a mother, of reconnecting the fragmented pieces of my identity, while the boundaries between Samuel and myself are often blurred. My paintings and installation inform each other, the crocheted installation is a 3-dimensional extension of my painting practice with its own unique and deliberate mark making and form, its woven structure accosts and envelops the viewer to situate them in my position and identity as the mother. My paintings are made through a close examination of the installation and how it exists and behaves in space.
Sheridan currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina with her partner, Ian and son, Samuel. They recently welcomed a daughter Kora in early March.
Jordan Sheridan gave her artist talk the night of the reception, from 6:30-7:30.
These exhibitions were made possible by the generosity and support of our sponsors: Chip and Tammy Finney, Hill Plumbing and Air, Weeks Law Firm, and Susan and Jim Allen.