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Alumni Update: Get to know Amanda Thackray EHS Class of 2000!

Immediate Release

November 24, 2021

A. Thackray

What is your current job?

I have worked concurrently as an artist and an educator for the past eight years. I teach at a variety of institutions, splitting my time between semester-long university courses, community art center courses, and shorter term workshops. Currently I am a part-time lecturer at Purchase College SUNY and Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. I teach a variety of media, typically revolving around printmaking, bookbinding, and papermaking. 

I have been keeping a strong studio practice for over 15 years. Currently I work out of a studio at Gallery Aferro in Newark, New Jersey. While I have always worked various jobs, even before starting my teaching practice, an overarching commitment to my studio practice has been a guiding principle. I am able to balance my studio practice with my teaching practice by being flexible with both. Every semester, my schedule changes and I need to adjust my priorities. Regardless, I have been exhibiting my work frequently and have participated in prestigious residencies - I was an Artist in Residence at The Museum of Art and Design in NYC in 2019. My most recent solo exhibition was held at the Lemmerman Gallery at New Jersey City University (NJCU) this past September 2021.  



A. ThackrayWhat do you like most about your work?

It can be difficult juggling so many different types of work in different places, however, the variety of work keeps me engaged and my different practices often inform each other. Sometimes I make discoveries in my studio that I can share with my students. I am often inspired by the incredible work that my students create, and it inspires me to continue being creative in my own studio.   


Amanda ThackrayWhat was your path to your position?

With much encouragement from my high school art teachers, I submitted a portfolio to Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. When I was accepted into the program, I searched throughout the classes for a good material fit. I always had a strong interest in learning to incorporate different materials and techniques into my artwork. Initially, I took a lot of painting and sculpture classes, and eventually found printmaking and fell in love.  

When I decided to go to graduate school in 2019, I was looking for a program where I could intensify my material knowledge in printmaking while expanding to other media. I was accepted at RISD and did just that - I worked intensively in printmaking while taking glass casting, rug weaving, and other areas to broaden my skill set. I was never certain that I wanted to be an educator, but I taught lithography while in school and really enjoyed it. After graduating, I was offered a part-time position as the printmaking shop technician at Princeton University. I did that for a few years, then started teaching classes at other universities, all centered around printmaking and book arts.   

Amanda ThackrayWhat are some of your best memories from growing up in Ewing?

I remember being intensely involved in lots of extracurricular activities throughout my childhood and into high school. I credit that largely to my parents, who always encouraged me to be involved. I loved playing soccer with friends, and participated in Odyssey of the Mind and the school play for all four years of high school, as well as numerous other clubs and sports teams. These experiences helped me bond with friends and make lots of lasting memories.  

How did your time at Ewing help prepare you for life? 

While in high school I remember working with very devoted teachers who taught me a lot, but most importantly, were very supportive. EHS provided a good foundation for me in so many ways. As previously stated, I was involved in a lot of clubs. The opportunity to experiment with balancing all these interests was good practice for being able to enjoy and thrive in an adult life where my routine changes daily.  

Link to Amanda Thackray’s website