Tree Branch, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
The Pink Sunken Jeep, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
The Night Shift, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
The N Train from Coney Island, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
The Dead Fish, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
The Cabbage Patch, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
The Big Catfish, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
River Vipers, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
Rattlesnake Row, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
Possums Playing, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
Pineapple Farms, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
Pier Fishing, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
Eggs, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
Alligator Moon Pie, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
After Hours, acrylic on panel, 35" x 24"
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Member Portfolio

Tommy Mavra

Philadelphia PA, 19148


Artist's Biography

Tommy Mavra explores narratives relating to our relationship with the natural world through painting, drawing and sculpture. The work spans from solo series in drawing and sculpture to collaborative interdisciplinary projects in experimental film and sound design. Mavra is a first generation American and the first generation to grow up not depending on farming and fishing. The contrast of being taught to have a reverence for nature while living in urban and suburban environments is most likely where his interest in understanding our role in the world as it relates to life began. Each work questions agreed upon notions of morality and explores the magic and the mischief of life.

Artist's Statement

I am interested in how we negotiate our place in nature.

Technology, medicine, housing, farming, etc. are thought of as being artificial, yet they support the survival of our species. If survival is what motivates the actions of all living things, our “artificial” creations are also part of nature. However, no other animal has had the same impact on the ecosystem that we do. In the long term it seems that our inventions, intended to insure our success, could usher in the end of most life on Earth.

My work examines the paradoxical relationship mankind has with the natural world; its beauty and repulsiveness. Through painting, drawing, and sculpture I focus on narratives of daily life — our everyday interactions with animals, the food we eat and the things we buy — to reassess situations overlooked due to their banality. I dramatize these ordinary moments to encourage an investigation of our expectations and assumptions.

Writing fiction has become an increasingly significant component of my studio practice. Much of the visual work I make is contextualized by these fictions. Building out a world in which my work can exist allows for multiple points of entry for the viewer and provides myself references outside of the dominant art cannon.\

Artist's Bibliography

We Met in Memphis

Average Art Magazine

A5 Magazine, September

Professional Experience

2018 - Present
Urban Arts Partnership, New York, NY
Teaching Artist: Story Studio; EASE

2018 - 2019
Rasmussen College
Adjunct Professor

Awards & Honors

Charles G. Shaw Grant

Official Film Selection, Urban Action Showcase

Official Film Selection, Mecca Con

Space Grant, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Subsidized Studio Space, A.R.T./New York Creative

Charles G. Shaw Grant

Puffin Foundation Grant, Dusky Projects

Sally Crump Byrnes Memorial Scholarship

Myrtle Powell Bowld Traveling Fellowship

Selected Exhibitions

Magikal Beasts, Mystical Byways, Deja 42, Philadelphia, PA

And Then I Wake Up, Exponential Festival, Brooklyn, NY

Animals, Site:Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY

Commencement, Smack Melon, Brooklyn, NY

Last Days of Kartika, HBO Urban Action Showcase, New York, NY

Our Voices, Medialia Rack Hamper Gallery, New York, NY

Hero How To, Brick Comic Book Theatre Festival

Fe"-Ma-Le, Budapest, Hungary

Now & Next: Interdisciplinary Works, Tanz Haus NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany

Bought the Farm, Morgan Art Space, Brooklyn, NY

Riveted, Gallery Five, California State University, Long Beach, CA

Complimentary Tangents, David Mah Gallery, Memphis, TN

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