A low-residency, intensive year round program providing the conceptual, critical, historical, and practical knowledge needed to sustain a successful studio.

Cynthia Nourse Thompson
Associate Professor and Director of the MFA programs in Book Arts + Printmaking and Studio Art
MFA, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art
Cynthia Nourse Thompson is currently associate professor and director of the graduate programs in Book Arts + Printmaking and Studio Arts at the University of the Arts. Prior to this position, Thompson served as associate professor and curator of Exhibitions at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. While there, Thompson established a unique vision for the gallery as well as public spaces on campus—most recently having secured the University’s acquisition of works by Willie Cole, Chakaia Booker and Leonardo Drew for the campus public art advisory board. During her tenure at U of A, she brought Louis Bourgeois: Topiary the Art of Improving Nature to the gallery as well as curated an exhibition in honor of African American History Month titled Employing Voice, Embracing Agency that included works by Radcliffe Bailey, Demetrius Oliver, Mickelene Thomas and Willie Cole, among others. With the opening of 21c Museum Hotel and Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas, Thompson continued to fuel great interest in contemporary art in Northwest Arkansas, establishing the gallery as a premier venue in that region for exhibiting cutting edge, contemporary art. Thompson also served for 12 years as professor of Book and Paper Arts at Memphis College of Art (MCA), the chair of the Fine Arts Department, and curator of Exhibitions. As the curator and director of Visiting Artist lectures at MCA, her responsibilities as curator included the overall management and administration of the gallery’s exhibition and visiting artist program; conceiving and directing all publications supporting the gallery’s voice; and maintaining and directing a dynamic and high-profile exhibition schedule for the Main Gallery. Thompson created a national reputation and curatorial vision for the gallery at MCA. Exhibitions were reviewed in both local and national publications. Some of the international artists presented during her tenure included, among others, Louise Bourgeois, Petah Coyne, Lesley Dill, Andres Seranno, Gary Schneider and Amy Sillman; visiting artists of the lecture series comprised Ghada Amer, Janine Antoni, Polly Apfelbaum, Willie Cole, Petah Coyne, Lesley Dill and Juan Sanchez. In 2000, Thompson founded the New Visions Exhibitions Series, which focused on bringing cutting-edge, challenging contemporary art to the college and the community-at-large. The 2010 exhibition was a great success.

Thompson has also been a visiting faculty member at the University of Georgia’s study-abroad program in Cortona, Italy; the prestigious Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy; and the University of Arkansas Program in Rome, teaching papermaking, book arts and printmaking. Thompson was the recipient of the 2003 Tennessee State Arts Commission Fellowship Grant and has been awarded numerous residencies, including Yaddo, Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, Women’s Studio Workshop Book Art Residency, the Visual Studies Workshop Book Art Residency, Minnesota Center for Book Arts Residency, the Atlanta Printmakers Studio Emerging Artist Residency, Summer Senior Artist in Residence Book Art and Printmaking Residency at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, and most recently a winter letterpress residency at Penland School of Craft. Solo exhibitions include the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking in Atlanta, the Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., and the Morgan Conservatory of Paper in Cleveland. Her work is in the collection of Arkansas State University, the Tennessee State Museum, and Dieu Donne Papermill, among many others. Thompson received her BFA in Printmaking from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and her MFA from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. In addition to teaching and curating, Thompson previously worked at Dieu Donne Papermill, Harlan & Weaver Intaglio, Inc., and the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, now the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions.