Born on the eve of the Great Depression in 1928, Helen Louise Pomeroy Thomson was initially not privileged to the luxury of art classes in the rural schools she attended as a child. Attending her first art class later in her life, she was mentored by her art instructor, Dr. Louise Wood, who was aware of Ms. Thomson’s struggles. Pulling her aside during an intermission, she said to Ms. Thomson, “Everything is made up of light and shadow.” Stumbling upon a realization, Ms. Thomson suddenly saw every object in the room as components of light and shadow, and she subsequently completed a painting of roses with charcoal. From that day forward, she realized she had discovered her innate talent.
Completing coursework at the University of Illinois, Ms. Thomson began her tenure as president of the Fulton County Arts Council in Canton, IL, in 1973, holding the role for a decade while also sitting on the board of directors of the Regional Arts Advisory Council at Western Illinois University. During this time, she also served as president of the Spoon River College Foundation in Canton and was a member of the advisory panel of the Illinois Arts Council in Chicago. Soon thereafter, she was the executive director of the Two Rivers Art Council and an adjunct professor at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL, from 1985 to 1994, while simultaneously serving as a member of the Speakers Roster at Spoon River College. She also completed coursework at Western Illinois University during her tenure.
Ms. Thomson has been a longtime artist in Illinois, having been a solo exhibitor at Spoon River College, Tower Park Library, Graham Hospital Art Gallery, Shad Hill Art Gallery and the Farm Bureau Building, among several other facilities. She has also been an exhibitor at numerous group exhibitions and contributed her art to various calendars. She was a featured artist for Pen & Ink Art in 1978 and 1986, as well as the Illinois Standardbred and Sulky News in 1983. She attributes her profound success to Dr. Wood, as well as Dr. Loomer for his encouragement and her supportive husband, who was responsible for her attending her first art class.
In the present day, Ms. Thomson owns her own art studio and gallery in Table Grove, IL, which she converted from an old carriage house. She always enjoyed supporting other artists and promoting their artwork alongside her own. She also enjoys painting for other people, such as her children, and she just completed two additional watercolor paintings. Looking toward the future, she intends to dedicate more of her time to painting.
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