C. David Thomas

C. David Thomas was born in Portland, Maine, and is currently professor of studio art at Emmanuel College in Boston and director of the Indochina Arts Partnership.

Having joined the U.S. Army in 1969, Thomas was sent to Pleiku, South Vietnam as a combat engineer/artist. In 1987 he returned to Vietnam for the first time. Since then he has made more than thirty trips to Vietnam to do research and conduct programs of cultural exchange between the United States and Vietnam. Thomas has curated three exhibitions: As Seen by Both Sides: American and Vietnamese Artists Look at the War (the first major cultural exchange between the U.S. and Vietnam since the war), An Ocean Apart: Contemporary Vietnamese Artwork From The United States and Vietnam, and Seven Pillars: The National Treasure Artists of Vietnam.

In 1999, Thomas became the first foreigner to receive the Vietnam Art Medal, the nation’s highest art award.

Thomas currently lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his partner of thirty-one years, Jean and his two children, Aaron and Amanda.

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