MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)Prior to 2012
Artist StatementMy work examines power shifts between people, not totalitarian power or repressive regimes, but rather small actions that beget or lose small amounts of power. So, rather than power that immediately dominates, I am interested in dynamic, fluid power; power invested in and transmitted through each body, every day, within the larger social body. My protagonists participate as ‘losers’, whose potential to win is the crux of the conversation. My work asks the viewer to consider why the characters are in particular positions and making particular gestures, what happened or is about to happen, which character is triumphant and which is losing ground, what other physical or psychological shifts might occur, whether these shifts will reverse direction, and what is a hero.
Calla Thompson exhibits throughout the United State, as well as in Canada and South America, including solo exhibitions in Toronto at The Centre for Contemporary Photography and in New York City at Soho 20. Her group exhibitions include those at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, the Arlington Arts Center in Virginia, The Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, the Korean Cultural Center Gallery of Los Angeles, and the International Photography Biennial by invitation of the Centro Colombo Americano de Medellin in Columbia. The federal granting body The Canada Council for the Arts has twice recognized Thompson with a Visual Arts-Production Grant. She has also been awarded residencies, including those at Yaddo Artist Colony and The Cooper Union in New York City. Thompson received her MFA in 1999 from Syracuse University, her BFA from the University of Ottawa (Canada), and interned with Nancy Spero and Leon Golub in 1994.