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Profile of A Gifted Folk Artist:

By Jamie Tubmen

Olivia Thomason, the nationally acclaimed self-taught folk artist, began painting professionally around 1980 with her first exhibition in Kennesaw, Georgia. Later, she became a regular at The Arts Connection, a fabulous gallery occupying the upper floor of the Atlanta landmark, Oxford Books.

Then, as she became known, Ms. Thomason’s oils, acrylics and watercolors were featured in diverse galleries including New York’s Gallery 54 (where she won first prize for watercolor in the national competition), Shelton Gallery in Palm Beach and Nashville, Broadway Center for the Arts in Asheville, Red Piano in Hilton Head, AMERICA, OH YES, Washington, DC. and The Coastal Center for the Arts in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. In the Atlanta region, her paintings have been exhibited in The Spruill Center for the Arts, Roswell’s Perrin Center, The Atlanta History Center and the renowned Modern Primitive.

Commissioned to paint the poster for the City of Decatur’s Arts Festival in 1999, Olivia Thomason also created the poster for Avondale Estates, Georgia’s July 4 celebration in 2003. Other special projects that became subjects of her paintings include: Connemara, poet Carl Sandburg’s home in Flat Rock, NC, The Corn Palace, a historic recollection of Fitzgerald, Georgia, Oxford Book Store, a whimsical remembrance of the energy- filled interior of the south’s legendary book seller, The Old Dekalb Courthouse and Angels Over Atlanta, the magic October night when the Atlanta Braves won the World Series.

Since 1996, Olivia Thomason exhibited her paintings at her acclaimed gallery, The Primitive Eye on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Scottdale, Georgia along with the works of many other outsider artists. Her gallery was voted “Gallery of the Year,” for three consecutive years by Creative Loafing’s readers.

A gracious and witty lady of considerable charm, Ms. Thomason is focussing her talents these days on delving deeper into her own work as well as teaching and empowering others to create.

Her paintings are in prestigious corporate and private collections throughout the country. Currently, she is painting for upcoming festivals for several cities and communities for their promotional fund-raising posters. She paints regularly by commission.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Olivia Thomason is painting more of her wonders each day for families, businesses, charities and cities. You may contact her at

To the right is a recent piece: "Cow Patch". Along with the images below this gives only a glimpse of her prodigious talent.

Some links you might enjoy:

Unique designs by Laura Mostaghel

Folk Art

Folk Art in the Big Easy

Reverend Howard Finster

The Florida Highwaymen

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