Barbara Ann Mojica's Review
Ablaze in Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas
Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey
Illustrated by Loveis Wise
"Harvey and Wise share the story of the first black woman to have her work exhibited in a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City. Michele Obama chose her Resurrection painting as the first Black woman’s art displayed in the White House.
Alma grew up in segregated Georgia where schools and institutions remained segregated at the time. Her parents countered that by opening their home to books of all sorts and teachers who gave lectures. Alma preferred to be outside absorbing the colors, sights, and sounds of nature.
Alma’s parents moved to Washington, DC as she turned fifteen. Schools and institutions remained closed to black students. As alma matured, she followed in her parents’ footsteps and brought art to students in her home. She organized field trips and encouraged them to display their work.
When Alma retired from teaching, she turned back to creating her own art projects, infusing them with the colors of nature. She grabbed inspiration from the space program of the late sixties. Galleries soon took notice of her brilliant abstract pieces, leading to her solo exhibit and notoriety. The Mayor of Washington, DC proclaimed “Alma Thomas Day,” on September 9, 1972.
The book features stunning illustrations, along with a timeline of Thomas’s life and historical events. Harvey provides references for young readers to satiate their curiosity and expand their knowledge. Highly recommended resource for students and teachers in elementary, middle school, and beyond."