Candace Thomas

Handbags and totes



Fine Art

When people see my art, whether it is a bag, a broach, or a wall piece, the reaction is usually, “Oh, is that a Candace Thomas?” My art is known for its masterful manipulation of a rich palette of African prints, tie dye, batik, and hand-woven African textiles. To compliment the array of textiles, pieces can be accented with beads, cowry shells and dense thread stitching. It is based on variations of string and scrap quilts and honors African American quilters and their quilts. My work can be built into multi-dimensional quilts, bags, sculptures and various other fine art pieces. My pieces have a strong African aesthetic and are pleasing to the eyes and spirit.

Candace Thomas was born in Los Angeles, California and now resides in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband Larry Thomas. She began working with fiber in the late 1960's. After going beyond the commercial pattern she expanded into wearable art, home décor, contemporary art quilts, and 3-dimentional fiber sculptures, all with an African Aesthetic. In 2004 she was selected to present a piece to Tanzania's First Lady, Mrs. Anna Mkapa. Thomas was the featured artist for the 2005 African American Arts festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her piece Moonchild, a collaboration with Jazz pianist Yusuf Salim, will be features in the national touring exhibit Textural Rhythms February 2007 to December 2010. In addition to exhibiting her own work she has curated and coordinated juried shows and exhibition on North Carolina. Candace shares her love of textiles and fibers as she teaches fiber art and creative process workshops.

Selected exhibitions or juried shows include:

Through Woman's Eyes, By Women's Hand's, Chapel Hill, NC (2009)
Your Blues Aint’ Like Mine, Durham, NC (2006)
Parallels and Intersections: Women Quilt a World, Cincinnati, Ohio (2006)
Art and the Feminine Devine, Durham, NC (2006)
ARTQUILTSfabrications, Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival (2006)
Nearness of You; Memory and Commemoration in Quiltmaking, Williamsburg, VA (2006)
African American Arts Festival Exhibit, African American Atelier, Greensboro, NC (2005)
African American Quilt Circle, Charlotte, NC (2004)
African Masks, Fetishes and Icons, Portfolio Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri (2003)
*Dimensions, Durham, NC (2003)
Through Woman's Eyes, By Women's Hand's, Chapel Hill, NC (2002)
African American Quilters, Mary Lou Williams Center Black Culture Center, Durham, NC (2001)
Ten Artist You Should Know, Durham, NC (2001)
*In My Hands, An Homage to Black Women, Durham, NC (2000)

(*- solo exhibits)

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