University Place, Syracuse University
John Thompson

School of Art
Professor, Illustration

John Thompson works as an illustrator, painter, and professor of art at Syracuse University. He has been featured in Communication Arts magazine, Step-By-Step Graphics, and Art Direction magazine.

The internationally known illustrator has won numerous gold and silver medals for his illustrations, including the 2006 Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators for the best illustration of the year by a member. As a children’s book illustrator Thompson has won several American Library Association Notable Book Awards. He has received two fellowships from the state of New Jersey, including the designation of Distinguished Artist. Thompson is included in Two Hundred Years of Illustration (Random House, 1976) and The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000 by Walt Reed (2000).

A select list of Thompson’s clients include Scholastic Books, Dial Books for Children, Harper/Collins Publishing, the Creative Company, Time magazine, Newsweek, the U.S. Air Force, NASA, the Adolph Coors Company, Busch Beer, Allendale Insurance, Mobil Mystery Theatre, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Playboy magazine, Syracuse University, the Ad Council, and the U.S. Postal Service.

Thompson’s paintings are often inspired by assignments abroad. He has documented missions for the U.S. Air Force in Iraq, Pakistan, Sicily, Turkey, Paraguay, Argentina, and Korea. SU sent Thompson to Italy and India to teach and paint. He has also completed a series of paintings of Morocco and another ongoing series of Ireland.

Selected group shows include The Last Picture Show, Delavan Art Gallery, Syracuse; 200 Years of American Illustration, New York Historical Society, New York City; Reflections at the Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; Every Picture Tells A Story, Norman Rockwell Museum; the Syracuse University Florence Center 40th Anniversary Faculty Exhibition, the United States Consulate, Florence, Italy; and Made in NY 2010, Schweinfurth Art Center, Auburn, New York.

Selected two-person exhibitions include The Illustrator’s Journey with Roger DeMuth, Palitz Gallery, Syracuse University’s Lubin House, New York City, and Hats and Far Away Places with Ryan Wilde, Feast Gallery, Saratoga Springs, New York. Selected one-person exhibitions include India at the Society of Illustrators, New York City; Recent Works at the Museum of American Illustration, New York City; Afghan Freedom Fighters at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, New Brunswick, New Jersey; The Morocco Series, Wyckoff Gallery, Wyckoff, New Jersey; Morocco, Italy, Ireland and America at the Edgewood Gallery, Syracuse; and An Artist’s View of the Muslim World at the Panasci Lounge, Schine Student Center, Syracuse University.

Thompson lives with his wife Darren in Syracuse.