Crit Group Crew: Barbara & Ashlynn

Mentor: Barbara Campbell Thomas

Location: Climax, NC, USA – ET

Mother to a teenager & young son


IG: @barbaracampbellthomas

Mentorship Style: My 21 years of teaching and mentoring university art students of all backgrounds and skill levels have given me the ability to perceive what is unique about each of my mentees. I offer feedback and suggestions that always take these particularities into account, and I do so in a style that is generous, specific and ever cognizant of my desire to spur on growth, self-reflection and agency.

Bio: Barbara Campbell Thomas is a painter and a teacher. Her paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States, including the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, The Painting Center, Hidell Brooks Gallery, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and the North Carolina Museum of Art. She has attended residencies at the Hambidge Center, Skowhegan and, in 2021, she was in residence at the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency. She is a recent recipient of a North Carolina Artists Fellowship. Barbara Campbell Thomas is also an Associate Professor of Art in the School of Art at UNC Greensboro.

Meuin, 2021, collaged fabric, collaged cut-up paintings, spray paint, acrylic paint on canvas with insets of pieced and machine-stitched fabric, 19″x18″

Barbara Campbell Thomas’s paintings harness geometric abstraction and a materially rich surface of paint, collage and sewn fabric to explore how the everyday experience of living and being is an arena for spiritual perception. In the essay “Contemplating Forms,” Jennie Carlisle, Director of Appalachian State University’s Smith Gallery wrote Campbell Thomas uses abstraction “not as a way to empty a composition of content, but to understand and picture phenomena that are not perceivable by the senses under ordinary conditions.” Barbara Campbell Thomas’s paintings meditate on physicality as a way into questions of being.

Visiting Artist: Ashlynn Browning

Website & IG: @browning19

Bio: Ashlynn Browning earned BA degrees in Studio Art and English from Meredith College in 2000 and her MFA in painting and printmaking from the University of NC at Greensboro in 2002. She has received grants and residency fellowships from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, United Arts Council, Vermont Studio Center, and Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Select exhibitions include the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC, The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, Whitespace, Atlanta, GA, CUE Foundation, New York, NY, and Hemphill Fine Arts, Washington, DC. Browning’s work was featured in the 2009, 2015, and 2020 Southern Edition of New American Paintings. She has been reviewed by The Brooklyn Rail, Burnaway, The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The artist is represented by if ART Gallery, Columbia, SC, Whitespace, Atlanta, GA, Hodges Taylor, Charlotte, NC and IdeelArt, London, UK.

The Mother of Invention, 44″ x 40,” oil on panel, 2021