Thomas Alexander Blackmon was born in August, 1986, in Sumter, South Carolina, and has since lived in Clarendon County. A lifelong resident of the Palmetto State, Blackmon graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Carolina at Columbia with a degree in political science, focusing on the study of international relations and history. In 2011, he began to experiment with pyrography, an art form characterized by an image manually rendered onto a wood canvas using a continuum of extreme temperature. Although Blackmon has no formal training as a pyrographic artist, he relies heavily upon his background in graphite drawing and sketching acquired through mentorship by the notable South Carolina painter Tarleton Blackwell. Combining his background in American history with the permanence of pyrographic media, his work focuses on preserving visual relics that depict the historical development of the Southern United States. These current and future works concentrate on life in South Carolina’s towns and countryside from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The first public exhibition of Blackmon’s work took place in January 2013 at the Tapps Art Center in Columbia, South Carolina. Currently, he is working on his second collection, comprised of an assortment of both personal and period/archival photography in the hope that it will serve as a unique avenue for generating greater interest not only in the art of pyrography, but also in southern life across generations which even today bears extraordinary insights as to how we emerged and where we are going as a society.
Meet the Artist: Friday, Friday, April 19, 6:00-8:00pm, The Bridal Shoppe