Jena Thomas's current work engages in a contemporary dialogue with concerns about land development. The artist assembles a perspective that concerns how human beings "idealize" what nature is and use this as a basis to create artificial environments for ourselves to exist within. However, at times, these perfectly fabricated environments can be deceiving. It is no longer just an issue of domesticating the land to make it livable. Instead, Thomas is concerned with the way we transform our world into a suburban theme park. Through the combination of synthetic colors and naturalistic landscape, she seeks to capture the unnatural oddities of spaces such as swimming pools, miniature golf courses and the medians used to decorate highways. In her recent series “Liminal Landscapes” Thomas examines how we as a contemporary society view landscape. Whether it is zooming by it in a car, out a glass window from thousands of miles above the ground, or from the comfort of our own homes through the magic of Google, there seems to be an unnatural disconnect between our physical selves and the space in front of us.
Born in South Florida, Jena Thomas is a South Carolina based artist. Thomas has exhibited extensively in Florida and the Northeast, with exhibitions at the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Context New York, and Art Palm Beach. Recently featured in Creative Quarterly magazine and the art publication New American Painting, Thomas is a recipient of the Ruth Katzman Scholarship from the Art Students League of New York and winner of 701 Center for Contemporary Art Prize. She was also 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.
2015 MFA University of Miami-Miami, FL Graduate Teaching Assistant Fellowship in Painting
2009 BFA Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA Double Major: Painting/ Art History; Graduated with Honors and Distinction