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.
Barbara Campbell Thomas’s paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States: at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, The Painting Center, the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and the North Carolina Museum of Art. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture and, in 2021, she attended the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency. She is a recent recipient of a North Carolina Artists Fellowship.
Barbara Campbell Thomas is an Associate Professor of Art in the School of Art at UNC Greensboro. She lives and works in Climax, NC.