Phyllis Thompson: Memories of Making Special

Phyllis Thompson, Memories of Making Special #7, 2015, monotype, chine-collé, collage, drawing, 19″x13.5″.

Using print processes and collage materials including patterned fabric, textured papers, and photographs, along with pencil and crayon drawing, Phyllis Thompson creates mixed-media monotypes exploring memories of family, relationships, and ancestors. This is her first solo exhibition in Western New York.

The title of the exhibition, Memories of Making Special, is taken from a recent series in which reoccurring circular forms recall yo-yos, small fabric circles gathered by her grandmother using needle, thread, and thimble, which were later sewn into bedspreads. In other prints, fragments of ancestral photographs are nestled among richly detailed fields of symbolic shapes, personal marks, and lush colors. Also included in this exhibition is an installation that incorporates a selection of earlier works, drawing a thread between current explorations and past motifs.

As Thompson describes, “I have made renewed meaning of slices of my life by gathering remnants of the past and assembling them into prints and collages.” What might memories look like, if they could be be distilled onto paper? How might they be given new life, empowered to reach from the past into the future? Her images offer exuberant answers.

About the artist

Phyllis I Thompson is Professor Emeritus and Lecturer in the Art Education Department at SUNY Buffalo State, with a PhD in Urban Education/Art Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received an MFA in printmaking from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and a BFA in printmaking from the Philadelphia College of Art. Her work has been exhibited and is in public and private collections across the US. She is currently a resident artist at Buffalo Arts Studio.

Installation views


“Dots, circles and ellipses sputter forth from Memories of Making Special….”
review by Dana Tyrrell (Buffalo Rising, May 21, 2017)