Visual Arts 219: Meet the Artist: Solomon Thurman

Solomon Thurman was born in the old St. Mary’s Infirmary, a segregated hospital on Papin and 14th Streets for African Americans in downtown St. Louis.  He came from a musical family.  His father was a well-regarded harmonica player who would play with lots of local performers, but Solomon says his talent came from a different source. 

“I was born with an interest in art,” he explains. “I didn’t know how to deal with it, but my father saw something in me to see that I needed training, and when I was 8-years old he enrolled me in The People’s Art Center.”   That early training clearly sparked something in Solomon.

For more than three decades after taking that first class he has been bringing contemporary history and his community to life through his paintings.  Solomon’s best-known work is the Black Americans in Flight 51-foot mural at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which he co-created in 1990 with his mentor, the late Spencer Taylor.  But since then, he has forged his own path, depicting everything from the story of a teenage slave named Celia to a gospel choir in church to a collection of paintings of bird houses from a friend’s property.  Because of the scope and diversity of his work, Solomon was named the Missouri Arts Council’s 2018 Individual Artist honoree, the state’s highest honor in the arts.

Student Tools

Student Tool 66: Video Reflection Worksheet

Students can use this activity on their own to share their learning and insights about any video they watch independently, and this Student Tool can also be used in conjunction with Teacher Tool 318: Sharing Your Insights Through A Reflection Worksheet as part of a classroom or homeschool activity. This tool can be used with any video on the Educate.Today website.

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Student Tool 81: Meet the Artist Video Reflection Student Worksheet

This student reflection worksheet is designed to be used in conjunction with any of our "Meet the Artist" videos. A copy is also included in Teacher Tool 593 that is provided on this web page as well. To find our "Meet the Artist" videos, just type "Meet the Artist" in your keyword search.

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Teacher Tools

Teacher Tool 318: Cross Curricular Activity--Video Reflection

This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, provides an Interdisciplinary activity that invites students to complete a reflection worksheet to share learning and insights they gained by watching the video. This tool can be used with any video on the Educate.Today website.

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Teacher Tool 593: Meet the Artist Video Reflection

This activity is designed to be used in conjunction with any of our "Meet the Artist" videos. In addition to learning objectives, standards, teacher instructions, and evaluation options, it also includes a copy of the student worksheet (Student Tool 81) that is also provided separately on this web page. To see any of our "Meet the Artist" videos, just type "Meet the Artist" as your keyword search.

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