Lava Thomas

2020 YBCA 100 Honoree

Lava Thomas is an American artist, arts advocate, and activist who works for social justice and change through a multidisciplinary practice that amplifies Black Women’s empowerment, resilience, and visibility. In 2020 she was awarded the monument commission to honor Dr. Maya Angelou for the SF Main Library, after leading a year-long, community-wide effort for restorative justice: reversing city officials’ controversial rejection of her initial selection in 2019, challenging anti-blackness and the primacy of neoclassical aesthetics to represent Black women in monuments, and advocating for racial equity, accountability, and transparency in San Francisco’s public art processes. Awards include the 2020 San Francisco Artadia Award, the Joan Mitchell Grant for Painters and Sculptors, and the Lucas Artist Fellowship in Visual Art. Her work can be found in the permanent collections at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, SFMOMA and Berkeley Art Museum.

More on YBCA for Lava Thomas

Digital Conversations

See Black Women

Stream at YBCA & MOAD’s Facebook Pages

May 19 & May 26, 2020, 4 PM

Art & Civic Experience

Come to Your Census: Who Counts in America?

A Digital Art & Civic Experience

April 1–October 1, 2020