Rachel Thomas

Artist Statement

Revealing the set ideals and “standards” that were set for Black Americans, This Skin Is In! is a collage that is meant to be viewed as a “compare and contrast” to older generations views of Blackness and identity, in comparison  to my own. In this piece I tackle colorism, an ongoing issue that affects the Black community-particularly Black women.

This Skin Is In!

Digital collage - 17x21


The combination of being a documentary photographer and collage artist has given Rachel Elise Thomas the ability to uniquely illustrate and personalize the stories that she tells. Similar to a puzzle, she pieces components together to create a whole that maybe unorthodox or specific to her subject matter. Rachel gathers inspiration from the past, archival imagery, an array of advertisements, photographs and etc. Having a background in fine art has allowed her imagination to reach those depths. Her work centers around Black identity and woman-ism whilst also dissecting prevalent issues that have affected Black Americans for several years. She is known for not only her work, but for also facilitating and inspiring others within the art and photography community in Detroit. Rachel is a Detroit-based artist who obtained her BFA in Photography at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. Rachel is currently a Darkroom Detroit Applebaum Fellow.