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Miss Alma Thomas: A Life in Color

Alma W. Thomas lived a life of firsts: the first Fine Arts graduate of Howard University (1924), the first Black woman to mount a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1972), and the first Black woman to have her paintings exhibited in the White House (2009). Yet she did not receive national attention until she was 80.

“Miss Alma Thomas” is the first documentary film that explores Thomas’ incredible life through the lens of curators, art specialists, scholars, her family, and award-winning actress Alfre Woodard as the voice of Miss Thomas. Released in conjunction with a major four-city museum retrospective, thousands will have the opportunity to learn of her life, work, and continuing influence.

  • Cheri Gaulke
    Gloria's Call, Acting Like Women: Performance Art and the Woman’s Building, Trudie's Goose
  • Jon Gann
  • Kia Baskerville
  • Jacqueline Sage-Bennett
  • Alfre Woodard
    Key Cast
    "Voice of Alma Thomas"
  • Sue Maberry
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Art, African-American, Women
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 30, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Reel Plan, LLC
    Sales Agent
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Cheri Gaulke

Cheri is a pioneer in the feminist art movement in Los Angeles. Her work has been presented in film festivals internationally, in galleries and museums, and alternative settings including buses, churches, and prehistoric temples. Initially known as a performance artist, her work addressed themes such as the body, religion, sexual identity, and the environment. Gaulke’s art continues to be a vehicle for social commentary, and as a way to tell the stories of individuals and groups under-represented in society. As an educator, Gaulke has mentored hundreds of award-winning youth videos. Her recent film, Gloria’s Call, has screened in over 40 film festivals and won Best Documentary at the Ann Arbor Film Festival amongst other awards.

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