The Artist known as Alexis Smith Thomason (formerly Mieke) became interested in art at the age of four. Her mother brought her a set of Prang Watercolors after she showed precocious tendencies in art when she was a child—and she has been painting ever since! She spent a great deal of time growing up in her house in Thomson, Georgia, doing a lot of painting, drawing, and making art! She has always had an interest in painting and making art!
She continued her interest in art throughout elementary, middle, and high school, winning many awards in art throughout high school and college. Pre-med-turned-art, she gave up her ambition to be a doctor to pursue a visual arts degree at Duke University.
She eventually ended up teaching Art, obtaining a Master’s degree in Art Education from Georgia State University. She taught Saturday Workshops at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, and taught art in the Newton County School System.
Her love for the Lord is what keeps her going! Her belief in God is the basis for all that she does! She strives to keep in communication with Him, because she knows that without Him, she would not be able to make it!
Sitting down for a quick chat with Alexis
Art and culture are intertwined within the fabric of our communities in every corner of Georgia. Why do you think it is important for communities to embrace and support artists and arts culture organizations?
I think it is important for communities to embrace and support artists and arts culture organizations because the Arts are very important to life. We need art in our lives to express the creativity which lies deep—sometimes unspoken—within us. Words may not always express what we are trying to say, but a brushstroke, a splash of paint, a dance move, a music note, or a poem may indeed express what lies within us. Art is a form of communication, and artists and arts culture organizations within the community tie all of us together with multiple common experiences that form a thread—a thread that is sometimes only spoken by the spirit. Sometimes looking at a work of art can tell your story—a work of art can be your story. Sometimes a work of art can speak to you in ways and tell your story better than any words could describe.
Have you been collaborating with other artists and, if so, can you share that story?
I have always collaborated with my high school Art teacher as much as I can with new works, as far as bouncing ideas and new works off one another to see what we think about the new work! I have recently reached out to some of my college professors from the Arts, and I have enjoyed reconnecting!! I have met many artists and curators through shows that I have done recently, and speaking with them has been eye-opening! It is always a pleasure to bounce ideas off of other creatives, give and receive feedback, and get inspired, to say the least! I have not yet done a collaboration with another artist to make a piece, but I’m open to new possibilities!
The last few years have been a challenge for everyone. Perhaps the last few years have been more challenging for artists and arts organizations that rely on people coming together to share an experience. How have you kept yourself going, and what lessons have you learned as we move forward?
I have kept myself going throughout this pandemic by painting! The lessons that I have learned are definitely to keep painting because it’s good for my soul. It makes me feel better.
What would you say to young people that aspire to become an artist like yourself?
To young people that aspire to become artists, I would say: Keep painting/keep creating. Even if you think it’s trash, keep doing it! You may think it’s trash, but it may be the step to your next piece!! If you are in school, keep trying—listen to your teacher(s)/professor(s)—they know what they’re talking about. You can’t give up on your dream… because if it burns within you, it’s never going away!!Digital-Portfolio-—-Art-by-Alexis