Georgia Magazine - July 2019 - 16

Changing
lives through

ART

Steffen Thomas Museum of Art
outreach program
nurtures at-risk students

STEFFEN THOMAS MUSEUM OF ART

T

he painting "Fishers
of Men" by Steffen
Thomas may
appear simple at
first glimpse. But its
message is profound.
His painting reflects the directive given to Jesus' disciples: It
is not enough to just be a "fisher"; one must cast his or her net in
service to mankind.
Thomas' own net was cast far and wide. His artistic journey
began in 1920, when he was apprenticed at age 14 to a stonecutter in his hometown of F├╝rth, Germany. His talent was immediately apparent, and within a few years he was accepted to the
Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
Thomas established his own studio at age 21 and left
Germany the following year to pursue his artistic vision in the
United States. A firm believer in the American dream, he soon
made a name for himself as the "young Bavarian sculptor" and
settled in Atlanta. There he became well-known for a series of
public commissions, most famously the statue of former Georgia Gov. Eugene Talmadge on the grounds of the Georgia Capitol
and a bronze sculpture titled "Trilon" on Peachtree Street near
the Woodruff Arts Center.

16

Georgia Magazine

July 2019

COURTESY SOUTHERN CO.

By Sarah Russell

Above: Artist Steffen Thomas is
shown in his studio in midtown
Atlanta, around 1984.
Left: Thomas' "Fishers of Men"
painting can be seen at the
Steffen Thomas Museum of Art
in Morgan County.

Much of Thomas' art is displayed at the Steffen Thomas
Museum of Art (STMA) in Buckhead in rural Morgan County.
The museum is one of the few in the country dedicated to a
single artist and was his widow's tribute to him.
"Something that was very important to Steffen Thomas
during his life was education and nurturing the next generation,"
says Elizabeth Collins, the STMA's arts outreach coordinator.
A critical component of the STMA's mission to educate
youths is The Art$mart Project, an outreach program with three
education modules: A Day at STMA, a field trip and art experience; Creative Teens Earning Green (CTEG), an arts education
program for at-risk students; and College Collaboration, which
brings together museum personnel and seniors from area colleges and universities.
Thomas' daughter, Lisa Thomas Connor, initially approached the Morgan County Alternative School in Madison
regarding a program that would serve students outside the



Georgia Magazine - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - July 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - July 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - July 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - July 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - July 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - July 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - July 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - July 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - July 2019 - 7
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Georgia Magazine - July 2019 - Cover3
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