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

Cynthia Nourse Thompson
Director of the MFA Book Arts and Studio Art MFA Programs MFA, Mason Gross School of Art, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
BFA, Printmaking, Maryland Institute College of Art
Cynthia Nourse Thompson joins The University of the Arts as the Director of the MFA Book Arts and Studio Arts programs in June 2014. Prior to this position, Thompson was the Curator and Director of Exhibitions at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she was additionally a Clinical Assistant Professor teaching printmaking. Thompson served for twelve years as Professor of Book, Print and Paper Arts at Memphis College of Art and the Chair of the Fine Arts Department for one year. Additionally, she served as Curator from 2000-2006. Some of the internationally known artists presented during her tenure included, among others: Louise Bourgeois, Petah Coyne, Lesley Dill, Andres Seranno, Gary Schneider and Amy Sillman; while visiting artists of the lecture series comprised Ghada Amer, Janine Antoni, Polly Apfelbaum, Willie Cole, Petah Coyne, Lesley Dill and Juan Sanchez. Thompson has curated numerous exhibitions, including the inaugural exhibition at the Memphis College of Art Nesin Graduate Center titled Anguish which introduced prominent contemporary artists to the College and the community: Polly Apfelbaum, Louise Bourgeois, Tara Donovan, Jenny Holzer, Anders Krisar, Oscar Munoz, Kiki Smith, and Anna Tsantir. Recently curated exhibitions at the University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center Gallery include, Louise Bourgeois, Topiary: The Art of Improving Nature and Employing Voice, Embracing Agency, and exhibition honoring African American History Month. The exhibition is significantly comprised of influential contemporary African American artists from the collection of Darrell Walker, a former University of Arkansas basketball player and former NBA player for such teams as the Chicago Bulls. Artists in the exhibition include Radcliffe Bailey, Chakaia Booker, Michael Ray Charles, Willie Cole, Wardell Milan, Demetrius Oliver, Xaviera Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas and Kara Walker.

Thompson has also been visiting faculty at University of Georgia’s study abroad program in Cortona, Italy teaching both papermaking and book arts as well as faculty at the prestigious Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy teaching 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 artist book residency, the Atlanta Printmakers Studio residency and the 2011 Summer Senior Artist in Residence Book Art and Printmaking Residency at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon. Recent exhibitions include solo exhibitions at the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking in Atlanta, GA, the Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN and the Morgan Conservatory and Educational Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. Her work is in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), the Carey Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Special Collections Library at Wellesley College, Arkansas State University, and the Tennessee State Museum, 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. Prior to her teaching career, Thompson worked at Dieu Donne Papermill in New York City, Harlan & Weaver Intaglio in New York City, and the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, now the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions in New Brunswick, New Jersey.