Visual Artist. Teacher. Curriculum Writer. Community Activist.
Artist Statement Ashley Danielle Thomas chooses to work in spaces that are in between. These places connect people from all different backgrounds, public spaces that have intimate moments. She prefers to create on bridges, in hallways, street corners, bus stops, community centers, schools, libraries and transit stations. It is in these place that she weaves her own wondrous tales from childhood memories, old wives tales, fairy tales, cultural and historical influences. It is in her world that she has perfectly curated a space between the whimsy of a childhood coloring book and the sophistication of her experience as an educated Black American woman in the 21st century America. Governed by a vibrant palette, her work considers the stories of black women in the south, a contemporary take on biblical principles, and philosophies of empathy in order to diffuse a spirit of curiosity, wonder and nostalgic comfort to empower all around her.
Traversing a space of multiple mediums, she adheres to her bright bold color palette, bold black outlines, and thick textures. She can be found working in oil, acrylic, aerosol and in graphite and charcoal. Ashley D fuses apparent contradictions by finding connections between the primitive and the sophisticated, black and white and color, reality and fantasy, spontaneous and the intentional. Her work has the soul of a child but the intuition of a trained fine artist, it is no wonder she gathers people from all walks of life. She credits her ability to tell stories and connect themes using symbolism to her former teacher Mr. Steve Prince, a renowned printmaker, and her texture and color palette to Varnette P. Honeywood and William H. Johnson. She seeks to not just take the spectator back in time to a more simple place but to experience the purity of a child’s heart and help us remember the things in life that used to make us smile.
Awards 2006 HBCU Verizon Wireless Art Competition Top Five Finalist for Sowing Seeds Work was presented at the Schomburg Museum in harlem new York by James Earl Jones 2006 Chesapeake Fine Arts Festival First place College Division for oil painting "My America Too" 2007 Charles H. Taylor Honorable Mention in the Artists who Teach Exhibition 2008 Front Page Feature article for Hampton Herald in Hampton Virginia 2011 Teacher of the year at Hunter B. Andrews S.T.E.M. School in Hampton, Virginia 2011 Featured on the Dream at 50 PBS Documentary by Richard Karz 2011 Contracted as a S.T.E.A.M. Curriculum writer for Susan Taylor of Essence magazine 2012 Westview Garden Mural 2012 Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Featured Artist 2013-2014 Artist in Residence at the Blu bisque in Castleberry Hill 2014 Westview S.T.E.A.M. Camp founder and Instructor 2015 Top five finalist for Wonderoot mural in Pittsburg Atlanta University Corridor 2015 Featured artist in the television show the Originals shown on the CW 2016 Artucker and Booze and Pancakes Featured Artist 2016 Featured on 11Alive news for restoring historic West End wall on Fair Street in Atlanta Georgia to combat gang grafitti and inspire community involvement 2016 First Place winner of the Choice Neighborhood Office Mural Contest in Atlanta, Georgia 2016 Facilitated 10 local professional artist in a hands on art experience for hospiltalized children at Egleston Childrens Hospital in Atlanta Georgia 2016 Douglasville police Station Mural 2016 Public art Mural at Ft Mcpherson Fall Festival 2016 Teacher of the Year New Manchester Elementary School Douglasville, Georgia 2016 Douglasville News and Views full page article on Cross Curriculum Excellence 2017 80' community mural on Cleveland Avenue sponsored by Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs 2018 Commissioned to paint Westlake Fine Arts mural 2018 Commissioned to paint Deerwood Academy Mural 2019 Atlanta Groomers Mural on Mcdaniel St 2019 Bright Futures Academy Mural 2019 Four murals at Shaw Temple AME Children's Ministry 2019 Collaborative mural at Frederick Douglass High School of Mr. Murray 2019 Commissioned to paint a 150' mural for Atanta Music Project in Atlanta Ga 2019 Commissioned to paint several murals in Camp Creek Middle School 2019 Commissioned t paint a mural in Mary Mcleod Bethune Elementary in South Fulton, Ga