“The Kool-Aid Wino” (January 16-February 19, 2024) Michael Thompson Solo Show.

michael thompson


Studio San Giuseppe Art Gallery at Mount St. Joseph University is honored to present “The Kool-Aid Wino” (January 16-February 19, 2024) Michael Thompson Solo Show. Artist Talk: Sunday, 1/28/2024 – 2:00 pm Lecture - Gallery Opening Reception: Sunday, January 21, 2024 1:00-5:00 pm


From the Artist, Michael Thompson:

“The Kool-Aid Wino” evaluates memories as a complex fusion of positive and negative feelings; as things that shape us and that we reshape in the present. The works hold the premise that nostalgia is something that does not exist as exclusively one or the other in our minds. This exhibition is my reflection on space and time as they touch one another, cultivating a shared sensation of the world as I attempt to filter childhood observations through adult awareness.

Each element references an anecdote, memory, or feeling from my life that pertains to my identity. In the same way that a memoir differs from an autobiography, these works capture moments from infancy to the present, but focus on vulnerability and authenticity rather than a linear narrative.

I lean heavily on cinema, text, and unusual dreamlike imagery in this show as film and poetry can often portray our theatrical perception of reality more acutely than any factual account of it ever could. Movement, reframing, and allusion are used as frequent inspiration, specifically through the use of film techniques applied through the art of painting. I am continuing to look for ways to integrate other artistic forms into my fine arts practice, while also simplifying my process more than I ever have before.

The title is a tongue-in-cheek remark on maturation and memory, contrasting the sugary, childlike connotation of a ubiquitous childhood drink with the serious, often tragic, and complicated reality of adulthood understanding and coping mechanisms.

Relationships, race, fame, fear, curiosity, and loneliness all have their place but are used as aspects of an environment rather than singular statements. A stripped-down visual language departs from my typical approach to storytelling to allow you to absorb the feeling of space in similar ways as I have, instead of focusing on the minutiae of the works.

The title references the 1967 short story by Richard Brautigan, and much like him, “The Kool-Aid Wino” blends humor with poignant observations to access the foundational sentiments of humanity.


From the Department:

Michaelann Kelley, Chair of the Department of Art & Design stated, “Studio San Giuseppe is proud to feature Michael Thompson in his first solo exhibition since his graduation. Michael has been the Artist-in-Residence during the first semester at Mount St. Joseph University. He has worked with students in and out of classes, developed his work on campus, and his is ending his residency with this reflective exhibition. We are so excited about the opportunities our students have had working with Michael.”






Link to RSVP for reception and lecture: https://www.michaelthompsonstudios.com/event-details-registration/the-kool-aid-wino-opening-reception


Studio San Giuseppe is a nonprofit art gallery located in the Dorothy Meyer Ziv Art Building on the campus of Mount St. Joseph University, at the crossroads of Delhi and Neeb in Delhi Township, 15 minutes west of downtown Cincinnati.  Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturdays and Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 PM.  The Gallery is closed on major holidays. Admission is free.  For more information, call Studio San Giuseppe at 513-244-4314, www.msj.edu.