Ablaze with Color:
A Story of Painter Alma Thomas


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Circles and stripes.

Dashes and dabs.

Soft colors, bright colors.

Alma's colors.

      As a child in Georgia, Alma Thomas loved to spend time outside, soaking up the colors around her. Despite the limitations and racial injustices they faced, her parents filled their home with color and creativity. After the family moved to Washington DC, Alma shared her passion for art by teaching children. When she was almost seventy years old, she focused on her own artwork, inspired by nature and space travel, new at the time. With the use of color in her paintings, Alma sought to focus on beauty and happiness.

       In this stunning celebration of art and imagination, Jeanne Walker Harvey and Loveis Wise tell the incredible and inspiring true story of Alma Thomas, the first Black woman  to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York City and the first Black woman to have her work chosen for the White House collection. With her bold and vibrant abstract paintings, Alma set the world ablaze with color.




“Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.”

“I say everyone on earth should take note of the spring of the year coming back every year, blooming and gorgeous.”

“Color is life. Light is the mother of color. Light reveals to us the spirit and living soul of the world through colors.”

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Ablaze with Color:
A Story of Painter Alma Thomas





Loveis Wise

Harper Collins

Ages 4-8



text copyright (c) 2022 Jeanne Walker Harvey

illustrations copyright (c) 2022 Loveis Wise