Lois Thomas-Ewings is the Founder and Former Facility Supervisor of East Athens Educational Dance Center. Since her retirement in 2017, she has returned to her initial interest in painting. The Mythical Reality series of paintings exhibited at the Lyndon House Arts Center depict dancers and Black mythology.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she exceled in drawing courses, but when her painting professor failed her, she turned to dance. After a decade of dancing, choreographing, teaching and learning, Thomas-Ewings moved to Athens in 1985. Upon arrival, while searching for a representation of the arts that included racially diverse populations, Thomas-Ewings was drawn to the East Athens Community Center by a mural Wadsworth Jarrell painted on the side of the building, which identified it as a “place of the arts.” “Having been granted her request for space to teach dance at the community center, Thomas-Ewings began a volunteer program to provide a performing arts experience for under-privileged African American children.” (Across the River*, p. 339)
“In 1987, Lois Thomas-Ewings founded the East Athens Educational Dance Program at the East Athens Community Center for underprivileged youth, initially targeting African-American children. Under her vision and leadership, these initial activities mushroomed into a one-of-a-kind program which targeted children who did not have opportunities to experience dance in their lives.” (Across the River*, p. 338)
Over the first six years of the dance program, Lois Thomas-Ewings taught as volunteer. When space at the community center became limited, Thomas-Ewings was allowed to make the small community center at Dudley Park the home for the East Athens Educational Dance Center. The program grew so large that a large facility was required. In 2005, the East Athens Educational Dance Center opened on McKinley Drive.
Thirty years after starting the program, Thomas-Ewings retired and began to paint again. We are proud to share her series The Mythical Reality at the Lyndon House Arts Center. We will celebrate the exhibition opening on June 8, from 6pm to 8pm.
All exhibitions are free of charge and open to the public. Exhibitions are on view during regular gallery hours Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
*Across The River: People, Places, and Culture of East Athens, Author(s): Maxine Pinson Easom and Patsy Hawkins Arnold