Holly Thompson

US Art Teacher

From Louisville, Kentucky, Holly Thompson is primarily an installation and ceramic artist with a background in drawing, graphic design, and photojournalism. “I knew I wanted to be an artist from a young age, but my intentions were never media specific,” Thompson said. “It wasn’t until graduate school, however, that I fell in love with teaching.”

Thompson graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in ceramics from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. “At WKU I was studying photojournalism and graphic design for a few years before I made the radical switch to ceramics,” Thompson said. “This was an odd switch, but it has benefitted me in ways that I couldn’t anticipate at the time.”

During this time, Thompson worked as a graphic designer, photographer, and ceramic artist. Thompson also taught at the collegiate level and the elementary level. “This experience prepared me to be an educator in ways that I didn’t expect,” Thompson said. “My graduate school program focused on teaching us how to teach, but having the ability to go from teaching a 22-year-old to a 6-year-old has made me uniquely prepared to approach a variety of classrooms.”

Thompson firmly believes that the arts are now more important than ever. “I am not of the belief that art is some inherent ability or divine talent. Art is learned like any other subject. The problem is that people don’t talk about art in this way. Just like math, writing, or athletics, all good artists practice,” Thompson said. “In this respect, I aim to teach my students visual literacy first and foremost. Very few of my students have gone on to pursue a profession in the arts. What is most important to me is that my students enter the world with a strong understanding of the visual information they encounter on a daily basis. The entire world has been built by artists.”

“I am always learning something new from my students,” Thompson added. “Every day I go home inspired to make work, and in turn, inspired to teach projects that will allow my students to grow and realize their full potential.”

Outside of the classroom or studio, Thompson enjoys hiking, kayaking, and exploring. Additionally, Thompson is an avid gardener and loves to cook fresh, creative meals for her family. Thompson lives with a partner, her partner’s daughter, four dogs, and one frustrated cat.


  • M.F.A. Studio Art, Indiana University at Bloomington
  • B.F.A. Studio Art, Western Kentucky University
  • Courses: Studio Art, Advanced Art, Middle School Art, Graphic Design, Upper School Yearbook