The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Dec 31, 2012

Macon gallery showcases emerging artist's work with first solo exhibit

Posted by jdye

"Untitled" Oil on canvas by Thomas Sanders.

Thomas Sanders paints without regard to what will sell and what won’t. He creates the art he wants to make, his process untainted by commercialism. It’s an attitude one might expect from an idealistic painting student about to complete her MFA exit show or the starving artist dedicated only to his work. But Sanders is not a stereotype.

He holds two degrees. A BFA in graphic design and a bachelors in art education from the University of Georgia. He worked as a freelance designer for some time. He also worked in the classroom, but he never found fulfillment there. He was drawn to paint, compelled to leave teaching behind and pick up his brushes.

"Untitled" Oil on canvas by Thomas Sanders "Untitled" Oil on canvas by Thomas Sanders.

Sanders has exhibited at the Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (ATHICA) in Athens, Ga., and he’s had a few paintings on display at area framing shops. He’s never had a solo exhibit, at least not since college, but he’s selling work. Word-of-mouth has helped him to build his career as an emerging artist. Most recently, his work was discovered by Macon Arts Alliance (a Knight Arts grantee), where he will have his first solo show in January.

Thomas’ paintings are beautiful, non-objective, and focused on color, texture and composition. His goal is to create beautiful objects that evoke the imagery of faraway galaxies and other worlds.

"I draw on an idea of an expanding universe and all of the expanding coming together," explained Sanders. "A lot of it has to do with composition and what appears beautiful within the confined space of a square or rectangle."

He finds inspiration in large concepts that he breaks down into simple, elegant paintings.

"It is about things being broken apart and then coming back together," continued Sanders. "I simply try to combine space and color in a way that creates a feel of a deconstructed floating universe."

“Connections,” an exhibit of paintings by Thomas Sanders, will be on display at The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance January 4-26. An opening reception will be held on January 4 from 5-8 p.m. A closing reception will be held January 18 from 5-7 p.m.

The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance: 486 First St., Macon; 478-743-6940;

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