Exhibition: Jena Thomas – Acid Summer 


In July 2021, 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., will open a solo exhibition of  artist Jena Thomas presenting paintings in oil on canvas and works on paper including  collage. The exhibition, entitled Acid Summer will run from July 1 – August 15, 2021. Meet the  artist Thursday, July 15, 6:30 p.m. followed by a conversation between the artist and  Columbia poet Worthy Branson Evans, at 7:00 p.m.  

Born in South Florida, Jena Thomas is a South Carolina based artist. Her abstract landscape  paintings explore the contemporary context of how mankind alters and views the natural  world. Thomas has exhibited nationally, with exhibitions at the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery,  Boca Raton Museum of Art, The Momentary Museum, Context New York, and Art Palm  Beach. Her work has been featured in such publications as Studio Visit magazine, New  American Painting and Creative Quarterly. Thomas is a recipient of the Ruth Katzman  Scholarship from the Art Students League of New York, Winner of the 701 Center for  Contemporary Art Prize and a finalist for Miami University’s Young Painters Competition.  Thomas received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in  Boston, MA and her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL.  Jena Thomas’s work is currently represented by the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery in  Stamford, CT. 

July 15, 6:30 PM: Meet the Artist 

July 15, 7:00 PM: Jena Thomas in Conversation with Poet Worthy Branson Evans July 29, 7:00 PM: An Evening of Adult Storytelling with Jess Willis and Friends  

Thomas’ most recent work explores the human drive to discover, construct, and challenge the  natural world. She is interested in the idea of a snapshot as a means to “keep” part of the 

world around us. Her subjects emerge from the brush to discover man made, artificially lit  buildings and landscapes. These spaces are depicted as enchanting locations and the person  within is inherently searching. Constructs such as string lights, fountains, and courtyards  further highlight her interest in our urge to elevate the mundane to the spiritual and to find  connection and magic in everyday experiences. Whether consciously or subconsciously, the  innate drive to “make our mark” on the world motivates the work. Old found family  photographs of people, usually boys, are captured in moments of conquest and triumph while  hunting, fishing, and cliff diving, and punctuate the presence of human nature and the need  to assert our personhood, a natural and universal instinct as we set out to make a place for  ourselves. 

701 CCA’s mission is to promote understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of contemporary  art. With a gallery and live-work space for an Artist-in-Residence program, the Center  provides artists with resources to develop, create and exhibit visual arts in conjunction with  performing, literary and media arts. 701 CCA also offers year-round cultural programming,  including contemporary art exhibitions and events that are free and open to the public. For further inquiries or high-resolution images, contact Michaela Pilar Brown, Interim  Executive Director, at [email protected] or (803) 319-9949.  

701 CCA is located at 701 Whaley Street, 2nd Floor, Columbia, SC 29201. Please visit us  online at www.701cca.org and follow us @701cca via social media.

For Immediate Release September 27, 2021 

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