Fine Art Photography Daily

Sonja Thomsen: The States Project: Wisconsin


Installation view of Glowing Wavelengths In Between

I’ve known Sonja Thomsen the longest of the artists featured this week. We first met when she was working at the local camera store, having just completed her undergraduate work and considering grad schools. In the time since, she has become a formidable artist, who exhibits frequently, teaches, and is the mother to two young (adorable) sons. Though her background is photography-based, her series Glowing Wavelengths In-Between is a good example of the multidisciplinary direction she has taken. In person, this work stimulates, makes you consider physical space and light as you move throughout the pieces, and raises interesting questions about science, light and form.

Sonja Thomsen is a Milwaukee-based artist whose multifaceted practice includes sculpture, interactive installation, photography, bookmaking and site-specific public art. Her projects embrace interactivity, constructing experiences reflective of our perceptions. Since earning an MFA in photography at the San Francisco Art Institute (2004), she has worked with the DePaul Art Museum, Rayko Photo Center, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Reykjavik Museum of Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Higher Pictures and Silverstein Gallery among others. She has been awarded the Digital Artist in Residence at Columbia College Chicago, a Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists, the Milwaukee Arts Board fund for New Work, a Latitude Residency, and the Hermitage Artist Retreat fellowship. Thomsen’s work resides in the collections of the Milwaukee Art Museum, Reykjavík Museum of Photography, DePaul Art Museum and the Midwest Photographers Project at Museum of Contemporary Photography.  Sonja Thomsen is a member of the international photography collective Piece of Cake – POC, co-director of The Pitch Project in Milwaukee WI and is currently a Lecturer in the photography department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

An iteration of Thomsen’s ongoing project Glowing Wavelengths In Between opens at the Society for Photographic Education National office and gallery, Cleveland, OH, Your White Light, December 2015 – March 2016.



©Kevin J. Miyzaki

Glowing Wavelengths In Between

Glowing Wavelengths In Between, is an evolving collection of sculptures, photographs and architectural interventions, yielding unique site-specific installations that hone in on shifting perceptions. Guided by rigorous material experimentation, the ensuing synergy in the studio is catalyst for construction maps intersections: the relationships of images to each other, the space they inhabit, and to the space of seeing. 

Informed by the language of photography, light and space function as the foundation of my practice, each piece aiming to assess the space between, where knowledge is always in a state of becoming. 


©Sonja Thomsen, detail of trace of trace, 2013


©Sonja Thomsen, Opticks (36), 2014


©Sonja Thomsen, Opticks (121), 2015

05Sthomsen_Proof I

©Sonja Thomsen, Proof (i), 2014


Installation view of Glowing Wavelengths In Between


©Sonja Thomsen, Reflection, 2013


©Sonja Thomsen, White light, 2013

09Sthomsen_Proof D

©Sonja Thomsen, Proof (d), 2013

10Sthomsen_Proof F

©Sonja Thomsen, Proof (f), 2015

12Sthomsen_Proof H

©Sonja Thomsen, Proof (h), 2015


Installation view of Glowing Wavelengths In Between


13Sthomsen_Proof J

©Sonja Thomsen, Proof (g), 2015


©Sonja Thomsen, Fuller (yellow), 2015


©Sonja Thomsen, Tangent(s), 2015


©Sonja Thomsen, Opticks (92), 2013

17Sthomsen_Proof B

©Sonja Thomsen, Proof (b), 2015


©Sonja Thomsen, Power of Ten, 2013


©Sonja Thomsen, Opticks (123), 2015


©Sonja Thomsen, Construct, 2013

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