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The Prairie Museum shows metal art exhibition

July 24, 2014

Jillian Thompson is a current student of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, in Carbondale, Ill; a graduate of Fort Hays State University; and, former resident of Gem, Kan. A reception to open her metal art exhibition at the Prairie Museum of Art and History in Colby, Kan. will be from 4 - 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1. The showcase will be on display through the end of August.
The Prairie Museum of Art and History is honored to showcase artwork from metal sculptor Jillian Thompson, native of Thomas County.

The public is invited to a come-and-go reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1, that will kick off the exhibition on display through the end of August at the museum, 1905 S. Franklin, Colby.

Using wood, cast iron and steal, Thompson says she is a sculptor who makes work about her life, finding most of her inspiration from her son Theodore Jackk, age 6.

"My stories are not full of hardship and adversity," explains the single mom, "but rather a celebration of my existence to bring beauty to the everyday lives of everyday people."

Appealed most by how labor-intensive metal work is, Thompson says she especially enjoys the processes of blacksmithing, casting and metal fabrication. And, she fell in love with sculpture after taking her first class from mentor Tobias Flores at Fort Hays.

"One of the biggest things that drew me to sculpture was the casting process," she said, "I love the energy when everyone gets together for a pour, a group of people working hard . . . for a common goal: to make art!"

She says the values of hard work were instilled at an early age so the physical labor involved in making something beautiful is gratifying.

"Something about working with hot metal is very satisfying to me," explains Thompson, " and using my physical and mental strengths to complete each project leaving me feeling very fulfilled. . . The time and labor required to transform these materials is therapeutic and gives me time to contemplate my personal narratives in a real physical way."

Thompson is a native of Gem and attended Colby Elementary School before graduating in 2007 from Cambridge Public Schools in Cambridge, Neb. She then received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Fort Hays State University in 2012 with an emphasis in sculpture.

Now, Thompson is a candidate for the 2015 Master of Fine Arts program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Illinois.

Although a newly minted graduate, she is no stranger to showcasing her work and has received many awards and acknowledgements since her first art class at Fort Hays in 2007. Most recently, she was an artist lector and received second place at the 8th Annual C4 Juried Exhibition, both in Carbondale.

Information about her exhibition can be found at Visit to learn more about the artist.