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St. Louis Painter Captures Flight in the Natural World

Posted on November 06, 2018 in Art

Solomon Thurman Install
Artist Solomon Thurman hangs one of his paintings in his new exhibit, Perch Here Between Flights.

We all seek refuge and rest when we travel. St. Louis artist Solomon Thurman expands on that theme extending beyond airport travelers to other high-flyers: birds.  Perch Here Between Flights is a series of 14 acrylic paintings of bird houses and birds in flight now on exhibition at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Terminal 2, near gate E10.

Solomon Thurman is one of two famed painters who created the Airport’s Black Americans in Flight mural (1990, Terminal 1) and he is the 2018 Missouri Arts Council Artist of the Year. Perch Here Between Flights is curated by Patricia “Pat” Smith Thurman, Solomon’s wife. Together they founded 10th Street Gallery, an art gallery in downtown St. Louis, and were recently named co-chairs for the 2019 St. Louis Art Awards.

The paintings were inspired by a trip to Mobile, Alabama where Solomon visited an estate with more than 300 birdhouses on the property. Several birds began perching in the houses at the onset of a hard rain. Solomon captured the experience in more than 22 paintings in all. Solomon has been painting for five decades and his painting style is described as conceptual realism and contemporary abstraction.  This is the first exhibition for the series. It will be on display through April 2019.

Solomon Thurman and Pat Smith-Thurman were chosen to exhibit in the Lambert Art & Culture Program through the Airport’s seven-member Airport Art Advisory Committee. Current members are Lisa Cakmak, Associate Curator of Ancient Art at Saint Louis Art Museum; Ellen Gale, Executive Director Clayton Chamber of Commerce; Shelley Hagan, Wells Fargo Curator Corporate Art; Leslie Markle, Curator of Public Art, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; Kiku Obata, Founding Principal of Kiku Obata & Co.; Roseann Weiss, consultant with ART+; and design artist and illustrator Carlos Zamora. 

The mission of the Lambert Art and Culture Program is to create a visually outstanding impression of St. Louis Lambert International Airport, generate community pride, and ensure that art at the airport continues to complement and build upon the airport’s rich visual legacy. The program aims to highlight the St. Louis region’s unique art and culture, while also showcasing national and international works, focusing on both visual and performing arts. Currently, there are 29 works of art (temporary, permanent or on-loan) on exhibit at the Airport. For more information, visit