Founded in 2004, The Midwest Sculpture Initiative was formed out of Ken Thompson's personal desire for more outdoor sculpture opportunities and was a natural extension of Flatlanders Sculpture Supply and Art Galleries.
Hence MSI's mission is to: Provide outdoor sculpture exhibitions throughout the Midwest, promote cooperation among art and civic organizations, advance the role that the visual arts play in the quality of life and increase economic development.
In pursuing this goal, MSI has assembled 77 such exhibits thus far with more currently underway for the 2014-15 year. In organizing all of these exhibits MSI has collaborated with community members, committees, individual hosts, arts professionals and sculptors. MSI possesses a database of over 900 sculptors to solicit work from, a website for promotion of exhibitions, large inventory of 'rentable' concrete pads, the heavy equipment necessary for the placement of pads and artwork, and the expertise to complete the task on time and on budget.
Ken Thompson holds a Master of Liberal Studies in Sculpture from the University of Toledo and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Siena Heights College, Adrian, Michigan. Ken has been making sculpture for over thirty years out of his car dealership turned studio in Blissfield, Michigan. From this facility, he also operates Flatlanders Sculpture Supply and Art Galleries. Ken is well versed in bronze casting and metal fabrication but prefers stone carving.
The major focus of Ken’s work for the last twenty years has been on large scale public sculpture with commissions such as Reclamation Archway for Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Detroit, the Peace Arch for the City of Toledo in honor of the veterans of the Vietnam War, the Korean War Memorial in Toledo, OH, the Centennial Arch in Sylvania, OH and the Community Arch in Canton, MI. Other large commissions include works at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI, Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH, Children’s Park in Toledo, OH, Copley Chapel at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Corpus Christi University Parish in Toledo, OH, the LCVA Millennium Project in Adrian, MI, St. Patrick of Bryan, OH, Siena Heights University and the Dominican Motherhouse, both in Adrian, MI, the Ancient Order of Hibernian’s memorial to the Irish Potato Famine and the Port St. Lucie Arch at Florida Atlantic University, Port St. Lucie, FL. Work is currently in progress for Jackson High School in Jackson, MI.
In addition to making large scale sculpture, Ken enjoys doing smaller scale work for gallery exhibitions. He has fifteen one person shows, numerous group exhibitions and many awards to his credit.