About Me

Self Portrait, 1996 (oil pastel on paper, destroyed)Originally from Texas, Jay’s early years were spent in the theatre in Dallas. From sound design and stage managing, to appearing onstage in lead roles, Jay worked tirelessly as a thespian for over ten years, working with many different theaters in the Dallas area. Some of his favorites were Greenville Avenue Pocket Sandwich Theatre (now known simply as the Pocket Sandwich Theatre) and the Classic Theatre Company.

In 1992, Jay moved to Southern Illinois to pursue another lifelong dream: art school. Fascinated from an early age by glassblowing, Jay attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where he majored in painting and drawing since there was no major in glass at the time. Jay learned the art and craft of glassblowing and glasscasting from one of the founders of the studio glass movement (Bill Boysen), and managed to combine his painting and drawing skills with glass by incorporating his images into the surface design. While at college, Jay also learned printmaking and lampworking (using a torch to work smaller bits of glass). In addition, Jay pursued a minor in speech-communications, and acted within that department as well as doing several controversial performance art pieces on campus.

Jay working on his 8' square collage mural for the SIUC Honors DepartmentHe was selected by the SIUC Honors Department to create a permanent mural for the department, entitled “Act Well Your Part, There All The Honor Lies” (A. Pope). The mural is an 8’ x 8’ collage consisting of thousands of magazine clippings arranged in an abstract design.

During his undergraduate years at SIUC, Jay travelled to Scotland twice on short visits to the Patrick Allen Fraser of Hospitalfield Trust in Arbroath. He was then asked to be one of two ‘guinea pigs’ for a pilot exchange program with the school of art & design in Utrecht, The Netherlands. He spent six months there painting and learning the language. Fresh from that experience Jay was asked to become the ‘artist-in-residence’ of Hospitalfield, where he spent a year there after graduating from SIUC.

Immediately upon his return to the States, Jay moved to Philadelphia to earn his Master’s of Fine Arts degree from Tyler School of Art of Temple University in the glass program, where he honed his craft of glass casting.

After graduating with his MFA, Jay developed his business sense by serving as the office manager of a local non-profit service-learning organization for five years. Following that, he opened his own business, Amoeba Art Shop, which he ran for five years.

In 2006, Jay became a member of the Greene Street Artists Cooperative, a live-work studio building in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. He has served on the board, and on various committees at GSAC. He also participates in the Philadelphia Open Studios Tour each October.

Jay is now a member of the New York Art Exchange, an online marketplace for artists, galleries, and collectors.

Jay continues to paint and exhibit his work in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with frequent travels to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Cape Cod Light, by Jay ThomsonJay is the author and publisher of Cape Cod Light, his book of non-objective oil paintings of the same name inspired by his time spent on Cape Cod.

IN addition to the book, high-quality reproductions of the paintings are available in the gift shop here.

Want to hire me? Have a look at my curriculum vitae.

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