Lydia Thompson is a mixed-media artist who earned her bachelor of fine arts from The Ohio State University and a master of fine arts degree from the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Her awards include a Fulbright-Hays grant, where she conducted research on traditional architecture in Nigeria, and a Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts Institutional Grant for an Artist-in-Residence (AIR) at the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark. She was also an AIR at the Medalta Ceramic Center in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Recently, she received the 2022-2023 Windgate Distinguished Fellow for Innovation in Craft award for an AIR at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences and a 2022-2023 Artist Support Grant from the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina.
Her work blends the narratives of urban and rural human migration. Her work has been included in galleries, art centers, and museums such as the Mindy Solomon Gallery, the Society for Contemporary Crafts, the Baltimore Clayworks, The Clay Studio, the Clay Art Center, the Ohr O’Keefe Museum, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, the James A. Michener Art Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, the Mint Museum, and the Northern Clay Center. She has completed public commissions for businesses, and her work is in private and public collections in the United States, New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. She has conducted workshops for youth and adults, given public lectures, and served as a juror and curator for national and regional exhibitions.
She has held various arts administrative leadership positions at universities throughout the country, which include Texas Tech University, Mississippi State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. She served on the boards of the National Council of Education for Ceramics, the National Council of Arts Administrators, the Lubbock Arts Alliance in Lubbock, Texas, and Clayworks in Charlotte, North Carolina. Currently, she resides and maintains her studio in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a professor of art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.