Kat Thompson is a multidisciplinary Afro-Jamaican American artist based in Virginia, who works with photography, textiles, sculptural collages, and installations. Her work combines these mediums to explore notions of Black selfhood within the African Diaspora. Being of Jamaican heritage, Thompson confronts her dual identity through recent projects that depict traces of her family’s journey through personal and found materials. Her focus is to uncover stories that mirror parts of ourselves back to us, including our histories, current realities, and future possibilities. Her works have been exhibited at the Fenwick Gallery and Gillespie Gallery at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, and the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art in Reston, Virginia. She was the 2021-2022 recipient of the Young Alumni Commissioning Award, College of Visual and Performing Arts: George Mason University and was recently awarded the 2023-2025 Hamiltonian Artists Fellowship.

Thompson holds her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from George Mason University and her Master of Fine Arts in Photography & Film from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Virginia Commonwealth University, Masters of Fine Arts, Photography & Film

George Mason University, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Photography

Exhibitions (Solo)

2023 “Nuff Love, From Me to You.” The Anderson Gallery. Richmond, Virginia

2023 Looking for My People. Fenwick Gallery. Fairfax, Virginia

2020 Katherine Simone Thompson: Raw Material. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Exhibitions (Group)

2023 Congressional Black Caucus, The Creator House: “Joy” Exhibition. Washington, D.C.

2023 Case/Recast (continued). Gillespie Gallery. Fairfax, Virginia

2022 Forecast. Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art. Reston, Virginia

2022 Case/Recast. Mason Exhibitions Arlington. Arlington, Virginia

2022 “It’s About Time”. The Anderson Gallery. Richmond, Virginia

2020 Katherine S Thompson: Raw Material. Off-the-Wall. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

2015 “Consummation, Self-Portrait 2”. Hair. Lenscratch.com

2013 KNOK HARD. Baltimore, Maryland

2013 Remix Exhibition. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia


2022 “Black in Y+M”, 2022. Art & Education.

2019 “Shape-Ups At Delilah’s”, Photography Assistant. New Yorker

2015 “Consummation, Self-Portrait 2”, Group: Hair. Lenscratch.com


2023 – 2025 Hamiltonian Artists Fellowship. Washington D.C

“In her series Between Cultures (2019) Thompson creates multiple “self-portraits” in which she deploys a minimal vocabulary of materials including patterned fabrics, cheap mass produced home decor or craft items, and her own body. In these images she presents herself as various African American personas, based on representations of the black body, both historical and contemporary, that circulate through American popular culture in print and audio-visual media. Like advertisements, Thompson’s portraits have a deliberate artifice, due her use of inexpensive props and flat lighting. This seemingly simple staging and sometimes playful design lends the images an atmosphere of ambiguity, but a close examination of the postures, materials, and motifs she chooses to include reveal the images to be fraught with questions about our tolerance for stereotypes, and the historical materials and attitudes that propel them.

Thompson uses herself as a model. In each image she shows aspects of her outward appearance but, because she is always disguised in her performance and subsumed by the role she is playing, she is never truly visible as a subject herself. Showing the influence of pioneering figures of conceptually driven photography such as the American artist Cindy Sherman and Cameroonian photographer Samuel Fosso, Thompson’s work inverts the normal understanding of the self-portrait as a form of self-revelation, and instead focuses on the impact of representational tropes and societal expectations on the very notion of selfhood.”