"My primary motivation as an artist has been greatly influenced by a preoccupation with the past, as well as the cultural processes that continue to shape our present and our future. Today, more than any other time in our history, we have become fellow travelers in a world characterized by almost limitless connectivity and excesses of information, failing to notice that barely even a century ago much of life was still governed by the noble struggle of mankind surviving. While progress in a technological age is necessary and commendable, we must assure that it does not take the place of our respect for the past. My work has focused on the historical development of the Southern United States as a vehicle for exploring what I think of as preservation through dissemination, rendering the visual relics from various epochs of our past that are still evident in much of southern culture today. These current and future works focus broadly on life in South Carolina’s towns and counties from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Recurrent themes of ethnic heritage and proliferation in early South Carolina will also play an important role in delineating themes that have interwoven themselves into the fabric of South Carolinian culture. Working with photographic material drawn from my own background and in conjunction with archival images from around the state, it is my hope that this work will find a unique avenue for generating discussion and interest about southern life across generations which even today bears extraordinary insights as to how we emerged and where we are going."
Thomas was born in Sumter, SC in 1986. He graduated from The University of South Carolina with a Baccalaureate Degree and was a member of the Alph Chapter of Phi Betta Kappa Society.
Although self-taught, He has been a professional Pyrographer for the last 4 years, relying heavily on a foundation of graphite and sketching under the mentorship of renowned artist Tarleton Blackwell.
Blackmon's work has been exhibited in a wide range of venues across the state of South Carolina including Tapp's Arts Center in Columbia, the Sumter Gallery of Art, and the Art Corridor of Weldon Auditorium in Manning. Blackmon was named a finalist in the Lake City's 1st Annual Artfield Artfest in 2013 for his work Livery Stable Courtyard. He is a member of the Sumter Artists' Guild and winner of the 2014 Sumter Artists Guild Show inaugural Peoples Choice Award for Farm Across The Way.
Currently, Blackmon is a featured artist of the Spencer Art Gallery in Charleston and 2016 finalist in the Artfield's Exposition for the pyrograph Farm Across The Way. His latest accomplishment has been to be juried into THE SWAMP LOG Artisans' Gallery in Bishopville, SC.