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Art Creators Collaborate

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Ashley D Thomas

Ashley Danielle Thomas

Ashley D. Thomas (Ashley Dopson) is an up and coming visual artist that resides in Southwest Atlanta. She is currently an art instructor at Westlake High School. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, she recalls always being surrounded by black art and music. Her mother and father started collecting black art in the mid 80’s and exposed Ashley to various art venues and artist talks from New Orleans to Atlanta. Inspired by artists such as Varnette P. Honeywood, William Tolliver, William H. Johnson and Faith Ringgold. She attributes her various art styles to a giant pot of gumbo. From fabric collage to oil painting Ashley has mastered capturing the spirit of the people around her with several different mediums. In 2001, Ashley enrolled at Hampton University and went on to attain a Bachelor’s degree in Art in 2005. It was at Hampton University that Ashley studied under the renowned printmaker and sculptor Steve Prince.

Ashley has won numerous awards for her work including the Chesapeake Fine Arts Festival Best in Show and a finalist in the Verizon Wireless HBCU art competition. Following graduation Ashley began her career in teaching art in many at-risk schools in Virginia and Atlanta. She found great success working with disengaged youth and undervalued communities and has won teacher of the year three times in her twelve-year career. Ashley believes that art has the power to bridge communities by opening an avenue for communication. Her work often includes themes about the inequities in the public education system, female body image, community collaboration, faith in God and memories of her childhood.

Most recently she has completed five murals in the city of Atlanta and has directed a S.T.E.A.M. summer camp in Douglasville, Georgia and Westview Atlanta. In 2013, Ashley was chosen to write the curriculum for Susan S. Taylor of Essence Magazine for the Rising, a national mentor based after school program that is made possible through a partnership with several HBCU’s. In 2016 Ashley founded Tapestry Murals. It is a business that employs youth in the city to beautify the forgotten areas around town. Whether facilitating young men to landscape or picking up kids around the West End to work on murals in the city you can find her busy making magic and sharing her gift with everyone. Ashley believes that though life brings seemingly insurmountable challenges art gives us a beautiful outlet to encourage and inspire one another to see a better future.