New Faculty: William Paul Thomas, M.F.A.

William Paul Thomas, M.F.A.
Brock Family Instructor in Studio Arts

Photo credit: Beth Mann of Early Bird Photo

William Paul Thomas is the inaugural Brock Family Instructor in Studio Arts, the department’s newly endowed position that will bring in a different visiting artist each year. He will teach painting during the 2017-18 academic year at Duke.

William Paul Thomas, Jo Ann’s Son, from Cyanosis, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches.

Thomas received his B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and his M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In 2017 he had two solo exhibitions: Loved Ones, at the Sumter County Gallery of Art, Sumter, SC, and Bricks Need Mortar, at Anchorlight, Raleigh, NC.

About his work, Thomas states: “I paint representations of disembodied heads of people in my social circle and sometimes scrawl text directly over their likenesses. That text is often tinged with dry humor, at times it is politically incorrect, and is regularly derived from the spoken vernacular of the communities I have been reared by. My overarching goal is to share with diverse audiences what I see as worthwhile subject matter. That might include religious symbolism or popular slang. Painting pictures is my way of capsulizing this broad, ongoing exploration of the human condition.”