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“Murmurations” by Michael Thompson, ArtsWave “Truth & Healing” Artist

“I want the viewers to walk away with one thing from this conversation, and one thing from the piece, and that is you are extremely powerful as an individual, that you have a massive capacity to change your community and to change the world. Regardless of what your profession is, regardless of where you’re at in life.”

Michael Thompson

2023 ArtsWave Black and Brown Artists Program

Creativity Squared is proud to support and partner with ArtsWave and to bring you this special interview series featuring the phenomenal artists and grant recipients selected for this year’s ArtsWave Black and Brown Artists Program.

Michael is a 2023 ArtsWave Black and Brown Artists Program Grant Recipient and “Truth & Healing” Artist.

The intention of these interviews is to give these talented and deserving artists another platform to share their art and truth expressed through it, as you never know what ripples will turn into waves. If you’re interested in working with, featuring, or supporting these artists, please don’t be shy about it.

Michael’s work is in the ArtsWave “Truth & Healing Artist Showcase” exhibition at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH, through September 10, 2023. The next podcast episode in this series spotlights the filmmakers whose work will be featured in another run of the showcase’s film festival at the Freedom Center on July 30.

This year’s theme is “Truth & Healing” and Creativity Squared host Helen Todd had the great honor of interviewing the artists during the opening showcase to learn more about their work and what truth and healing means to them.

Meet Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, ethnographer and poet. His practice focuses on human ecology and nuance as he weaves together ancient and contemporary mediums to create multi experiential works of art. He has been awarded the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, two ArtsWave Grants, the Cincinnati Art Club Award and The Carl B. Westmoreland Fellowship. Michael is a TEDx Speaker and Artist-in-Residence Emeritus at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. He was a BLINK 2022 Muralist and winner of the largest Secret Walls Battle in history.


“Murmurations” explores the mesmerizing group movement of thousands of starlings as they flock in intricate and undulating patterns during their congregate flight, as well as the power of collective action to protect and progress our communities. The work draws parallels between natural and human systems, recognizing and marveling at the strength and beauty achieved when working for the common good. The project aims to emphasize interconnectedness, resilience and the transformative potential of collaboration by inviting contemplation of our efforts toward justice and dignity. The painting serves as a testament to the collective capacity of voices, actions and aspirations working towards a shared vision.

ArtsWave 2023 Black and Brown Artists Program Cohort

This year’s Black and Brown Artists Program cohort reflects a vibrant collection of diverse art forms created by an equally diverse group of 18 artists. Their mediums include couture fashion, painting, and sculpture — along with film, musical composition, podcasts, theater, dance, and multidisciplinary works.

The projects not only represent the African American experience, but also the experiences of those with Mexican, Lebanese, Somali, Argentinian, Zimbabwean, Guatemalan, and Indigenous heritage.

Listen to the accompanying podcast episode which features Michael:

Connect with Michael

Learn more about Michael as a multimedia artist, poet, designer, & ethnographer through his website, and be sure to connect with him on Instagram (@michaelthompson.art).

Learn more about ArtsWave and why we proudly support the organization in episode 9 “Art Bridges Cultural Divides” with Janice Liebenberg, VP of Equitable Arts Advancement at ArtsWave: https://bit.ly/Ep9JaniceLiebenberg.

Creativity Squared is a proud partner of ArtsWave and because it’s important to support artists like Michael, 10% of all revenue Creativity Squared generates goes to ArtsWave and directly supports the Black and Brown Artists Program.

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