Sonja Thomsen (b. 1978) is a Milwaukee/Chicago based artist whose multifaceted practice combines photography, sculpture, interactive installation and site-specific public art to choreograph experience. Her practice explores the process of perception and how we experience knowing. She majored in biology and studio art at Kenyon College, Gambier OH (2000) and earned an MFA in photography at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI 2004). Since she has exhibited with Bauhaus Archiv Berlin, Center for Photography at Woodstock, DePaul Art Museum Chicago, Gallery f5,6 in Munich, Higher Pictures NY, John Michael Kohler Art Center Sheboygan, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, New Mexico Museum of Art Santa Fe, the Reykjavik Museum of Photography, and Soccer Club Club Chicago among others.
Thomsen's work resides in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, DePaul University Art Museum, Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection in Flaxman Library at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Reykjavik Museum of Photography. Publications include Experiment Photography: New Bauhaus Chicago, Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin, Hirmer Publishers; Un' apparizione di superfici, Luca Panaro, Italy, APM editions; GR-09022017, Fotogalleriet, Oslo, SKREID Publishing; Earth Now: American Photographers and the Environment, Katherine Ware, New Mexico, Museum of New Mexico Press. Accolades include a Digital Artist in Residence at Columbia College Chicago, Hermitage Artist Fellowship, Latitude Chicago Artist in Residence, the Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists, and a Milwaukee Arts Board New Work Commission.
Sonja Thomsen is a member of the international photography collective Piece of Cake. Thomsen has worked to platform artists and promote photography through her service as the founder of the Coalition of Photographic Arts; Co-Director of the Pitch Project Gallery and Studios; collaborator in the Milwaukee Comma Photography collective; and board member of the Milwaukee Art Museum Photography Council. Thomsen is a Lecturer in the Photography Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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