Please pardon our dust. Our team is hard at work standardizing and improving our database content. If you need assistance, please contact us.


"I see all life as a transition from one kind of element to another. That's why I show the dog coming out of a log or an artichoke as the head of a woman. This is a theme that recurs all through my work - life after life after life- something dies and becomes something else, like the body becoming vegetation, like the dog coming out of the log."
-Jack Thompson

Jack Thompson was born the son of a surgeon in California in 1946. Though he received his B.A. in psychology, he became a surrealist sculptor who has since traveled the world in search of ideas for his work. As a student of modern psychology, Thompson is deeply interested in mythology and symbols of the cycle of life. His sculptures frequently depict fantastical creatures in the process of transforming from one stage to the next: vegetable to animal, animal to human. Another favorite theme is funeral boats found in Egyptian and Norse mythology. His wife and pets have been models for his sculptures numerous times.

Thompson acquired his pseudonym, Jugo de Vegetables, while studying at the Tyler School of Art. The moniker translates to “Vegetable Juice” and is meant to emphasize the importance of art over artist. He has studied in Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador and taught at the Moore College of Art and Design for many years. Thompson has exhibited his work at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Michener Art Museum, among numerous others.

Video by Jim Thornton for Michener Art Museum, Creative Hand, Discerning Heart artists videos, 2012.

Education & Community

Education and Training
B.A. in psychology, California State University, Northridge, California, 1970
M.F.A., Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1973

Influences and Teachers
Thompson is influenced by contemporary artists Robert Arveson, Andre Benton, Karen Breschi, and Rene Magritte, as well as the ancient art of India, Egypt, and the American Indians. Thompson was taught by Richard Shaw.

Connection to Bucks County
Jack Thompson and his family moved to Pennsylvania from California in 1971. They moved to Chalfont, Bucks County in 1974. Thompson states, "We have lived here ever since- it's beautiful. I love Neshaminy Creek and Lake Galena."

Artistic Community and Colleagues
Jackie Ta Kuile, Mark Kobasz, Rena Thompson (wife), Ken Vairek

Exhibitions (solo)

Major Solo Exhibitions
Good Earth, Houston Hall Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1974
Dogs and Dogesses, Langman Gallery, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, 1978
Opens Friday, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1979
Recent Work, Marian Locks Gallery east, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1980
Manifestations of Dog Moses, Renshaw Gallery, Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon, 1981
Transfigurations, Marian Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1985
Alfareria Escultural, La Galeria, San Cristbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, 1991
Recent Work, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1992
Animal Love: Sacred or Profane, Jasuta Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1994
Unsaid Pentimenti, Moore on Second and The Clay Studio galleries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1996
Viaje despues de la vida, La Galleria, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, 1998
Vision de vida y muerte, Casa de la Cultura, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, 1998
Transmigrations, The Works Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1999
Solo Show, Tysons II Corporate Center, Tysons Corner, Virginia, 2001
Numina, St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2003
Reflections on the Zodiac, Projects Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2005

Major Group Exhibitions

Ceramic Conjunction, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California, 1977
Homage to Josiah Wedgewood, Museum of the Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1980
Paint on Clay, John Michael Kohler Art Center Museum, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, 1981
The Animal Image, Rewick Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C., 1981
Clay: An Emerging Generation, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1982
Feast Your Eyes, Philadelphia Museum of Art Alliance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1982
Contemporary Artifacts, Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1983
Bucks County Annual Sculpture Show, 1985-2004
Teapots: The Sanford Besser Collection, Decorative Arts Museum, Little Rock, Arkansas, 1985
The Male Animal, Delaware Museum, Wilmington, Delaware, 1985
Diversity in Contemporary Ceramics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1987
Craft Now: Poetry of the Physical, Inaugural Exhibition, American Craft Museum, New York, New York, 1987
Bucks Biennial 2, James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1994
I'm a Little Teapot: The Teapot Through Time, Islip Art Museum, East Islip, New York, 1995
Transformations: Four Bucks County Artists, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1995
Hot off the Press, Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, England, 1997
Exposicion colectiva nahual, Galeria Caf la Selva, San Cristobal L.C., Chiapas, Mexico, 1997
Que es lo que Mas Temo, La Galleria, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, 1998
Modern Bestiary: Artists View the Animal Kingdom, Wustum Museum, Racine, Wisconsin, 2002
Crossing the Line, Philadelphia Sculptors at Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2002
Mastery in Clay 2003, The Clay Studio Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2003
No Teapots, Donna Beam Gallery, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2003
Bucks County Annual Sculpture Show, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2004 (since 1985)
Neo Erotique, Art at Large, New York, New York, 2004
Hyder Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2004, 2005
A Show of Hands, MANNA benefit, Levy Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2005 (since 1992)
Terra Sutra 2, Montage Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, 2005
Animated Earth, Craft Alliance, St. Louis, Missouri, 2005
Off the Wall, Snyderman Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2005
Tyler Ceramics, Past and Present, The Ice Box Projects Space, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2005
Creative Hand, Discerning Heart: Story, Symbol, Self, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2012

Awards & Appointments

Teaching and Professional Appointments
Community College of Philadelphai, 1973-1974
Visiting Artist, Princeton University, 1993
Full Professor, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia

Major Awards
Cash award and medal, International Academy of Ceramics, Alberta, Canada, 1973
Fellowship, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, 1980, 1983, 1987
First Place for Sculpture, Scenic River Days Arts Festival, Reading, Pennsylvania, 1989
Purchase award, John Michael Kohler Art Center Museum, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, 1989
Fulbright Scholar Award for Mexico, 1996-1997
First Place, Bucks County Sculpture Show, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1999, 2000

Selected Collections
Mint Museum of Art
International Academy of Ceramics, Canada
John Michael Kohler Arts Center Museum, Los Angeles
Betty Asher Collection, Los Angeles County Art Museum
Michener Art Museum

Browse Artists

Search Database