Lava Thomas’s project-based practice examines notions of visibility, resilience, and empowerment in the face of erasure, trauma, and oppression. Thomas has exhibited work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC), the Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco), the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art (Napa), the International Print Center (New York), and the California African American Museum (Los Angeles). Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the United States Consulate (Johannesburg), the de Young Museum (San Francisco), and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia). Her residencies have included the Headlands Center for the Arts and Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Thomas is the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant and a grant through the Getty Foundation. She was an Artadia Award Finalist and a finalist for the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Thomas studied at UCLA’s School of Art Practice and received a BFA from California College of the Arts.