Monica Thompson is a textile artist whose pieced and stitched hand-dyed creations, primarily on cotton and silk, combine imagery with her love of pattern and color. Often, there’s an inherent tension between subject matter and material.
She’s enthralled with the landscape and fauna of Montana, for example, and creates “a deliberate mismatch of themes punctuated by abundant color and rich pattern.”
Thompson lives and works in Missoula, where she also teaches elementary art in the Missoula County Public Schools. Her current exhibit, “Take Care,” is on display through May 24 at Paris Gibson Square Museum in Great Falls.
She studied fibers and graphic design at the University of Michigan and textiles at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC, where she was awarded the Edwina Bringle Scholarship for a student showing excellence in textiles.
Thompson has shown her work in solo and juried group exhibitions across Montana and the Northwest, including the Missoula Art Museum’s annual auction, the Zootown Art Community Center’s Mini Show, and the Montana MADE Fair.
“In my work, I am striving for order while simultaneously compelled to create chaos, resulting in tension and harmony between these two seemingly incongruous states of being,” she writes.
Inspired by the purity and austerity of Japanese textile processes, she seeks “to deconstruct and re-assemble these ideas to reflect my midwestern upbringing.”
And in a Zen-like fashion, she often purposefully chooses impractical labors, “with the intention of instilling self-imposed purity in my process.”