Exhibition Runs: June 13 – July 28, 2022
Exhibition Reception & Artist Talks: Saturday, June 25, 5:00p – 7:00p, artist talks starting at 5:30p
Almost a Century of Nurturing Artists at Albuquerque’s Harwood Art Center
Thomas Bowers’ Childlike Behavior
Thoughts on SURFACE 2022
Public Gallery Hours
Galleries are accessible to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-12pm, 1pm-3pm (closed 12p-1p for lunch.)
Each year one artist receives the Harwood Art Center Solo Exhibition Award, presented for artistic excellence, originality of vision and dedication to practice. The selected artist works for a year with support from Harwood staff to make a new body of work to exhibit the following year during our SURFACE Emerging Artists program at Harwood. In SURFACE 2021, Thomas Bowers received the Solo Exhibition Award and this year, will be showcasing his new work in the Front gallery.
“Growing up had its ups and downs, but family and friends made it easier at times. My goal with this show is to present a body of work that emphasizes struggle and resilience. The title of the show ‘Childlike Behavior,’ is a clear representation of my adolescence. I believe that our upbringing as children does not define who we are. Being in touch with your younger self is critical because our conscious loses sight of what is significant and fills it with ‘more important information.’ As we get older, we are forced to gain new experiences and knowledge, adulthood makes us lose sight of who we are. I believe that everyone should reconnect with their inner child. The way children see the world is pure, and finding a sense of belonging and comfort in a space is crucial. My goal is to shine light on those who have faced adversity.”
Thomas Bowers is a self-taught artist from New Mexico. He has been creating art since he was a child. He spent a lot of time drawing castles and monsters when he was eight. When he was 14, he resumed drawing and painting. Thomas’ family was going through a difficult time at the moment. Thomas would take his mother’s tattoo book and start drawing from it as a form of escape. He was overjoyed at the prospect of sharing his work. Thomas grew increasingly interested in art during his senior year of high school. Thomas has always been committed to improving his skills, learning new techniques, and gaining knowledge from the artists that most inspire him. Nearly 15,000 pieces of work have been done by Thomas. In 2019, he co-curated a solo show in Taos, New Mexico, and was recently awarded a solo show in 2022 at the Harwood Art Center.
From public installations to produced pieces, Thomas works in a wide range of mediums and styles, including representational, illustrative, and abstract work. Heavily influenced but he loose and expressive line work and techniques found in expressionism. Thomas devotes a significant amount of time to painting, drawing and learning. Experimenting with the concept of lines, scribbles, composition, and color. He also plays around with human, animal, and monster characters. He has developed a strong sense of individual style and communication through his artwork. Using primarily oil pastels, ink, house paint, watercolor, and colored pencils. Thomas’ art is complete when it is being viewed, the meaning is determined by you, the viewer. He finds beauty in the different perspectives of each person. There are no boundaries that limit his work or academies that taught him a specific way of doing things. Thomas began drawing out of a desire to simply create.
SURFACE: Emerging Artists of New Mexico is dedicated to cultivating the creative and professional growth of artistic talents and to expanding their visibility and viability in our community. Each year Harwood Art Center invites emerging artists from around New Mexico to submit works for consideration in SURFACE. SURFACE artists are eligible for a solo gallery exhibition award and all receive a special honorarium for their participation.
SURFACE enjoys a six-week exhibition in Harwood Art Center’s Hall Gallery throughout June and July. SURFACE artists also participate in a private day-long professional development workshop. Workshop sessions are led by professional artists, gallerists, public relations / communications specialists and local media, and focus on refining artist statements / written materials, developing a web and communications presence, audience and collector cultivation, as well as a group walkthrough and critique of the exhibition.
Surface Professional Development Workshop & Alumni Circle Reception
We have an amazing network of program alumni and panelists who have served in the workshop in years past, and we will work with them to adapt content and dialogue with the recognition that there are not yet experts and best practices for this current landscape, that we are treating SURFACE as a collaborative laboratory to experiment and explore them, and that we can all benefit from a circle of support and camaraderie.
Artists juried into the exhibition are eligible to win endowed cash awards. We will also distribute aditional microgrants ($250) to each participating artists with help fro the City of Albuquerque’s Urban Enhancement Trust Fund. These microgrants will support each participant in acquisition of new tools, trainings, or subscriptions that could facilitate visibility and viability in this era of distance.