The work of Toledo, Ohio artist Sarah Thomas is being featured at Bing-Davis Memorial Gallery at Upper Iowa University’s (UIU) Fayette Campus now through November 4. The solo exhibit, titled “Sleek Playing Field,” will close with an artist talk and reception at 4:30 p.m. Friday, November 4.
“Through my work, I call attention to the excess of plastic waste in our environment and explore the discourse of plastics concerning our current geological epoch,” said Thomas. “This period, termed the Anthropocene, is defined as when human activity and industry have influenced the environment, climate, and biological makeup. The Anthropocene also highlights the overwhelming crisis of plastic waste and how it’s adapted into our everyday environment. I seek to implicate viewers in their role as active agents in an unprecedented environmental crisis, while suggesting to ponder the performance of recycling at a moment when the effort seems futile.
“This body of work reflects the alterations and transformations of plastic waste through consumer decay, natural decay, and my own process of digital ‘recycling’ through lens-based media,” continued the artist. “This work seeks reflection on the psychological perspective of ‘away,’ meaning where waste ends up, if it’s recycling centers, landfills, or the environment. It also brings forward what once was ‘away’ to a playing field of sleek beauty and repurposed familiarity.”
Thomas earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography at Cranbrook Academy of Art and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2D studies at Bowling Green State University. Currently holding a Photography Lab Technician and Photography Instructor position within the School of Art at Bowling Green State University, she has worked on independent photography projects, displayed public installations, exhibited and curated in galleries around the Midwest, and assisted in mural projects around the city of Toledo, Young Artist at Work, The Toledo Arts Commission, working with Toledo Arts Corner, and the Toledo Museum of Art. She has also worked within the Cranbrook Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art, DC focusing on curation and imaging.
Bing-Davis Memorial Gallery is located in Edgar Fine Arts Hall at UIU’s Fayette Campus. The gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours are subject to change.