My work is rooted in personal, family, cultural and global survival.  Making art has been a personal healing process as well as expression of beauty and hope.  I came from a dysfunctional family, some survived through the Holocaust; most didn’t. It is a miracle that we survive serious trauma with human compassion and love intact.  The goal of my performances and sculptures is to convey the transformations of a healing journey, through survivors’ scars and resilience.  At the same time, I developed unique functional work exploring language and textures of clay and firing techniques. 

Teaching has also been an important part of my process and work, not just as financial support, but as a way of connecting with and inspiring younger generations to believe in themselves, understand the power of art as a healing force, as a way to a personal aesthetic and identity, and to understand the profound nature and value of poetic expression. I taught children at risk for over 30 years based on the belief that giving voice through art and beauty are expressions of an innate desire to heal. Inspired by Vaclav Havel’s use of artists at the political table, I founded and still teach EcoArt Matters, a course that combines art and science, where students create art that brings attention and sometimes reclamation to urgent environmental and social justice issues resulting from climate change.   At a time when the human species and life on earth are in danger, we need artists who are practiced in thinking sideways and outside the box, to help create hope and solutions for a healthy survival.  


Having run away from home at 15, I learned early on that to forge a path for myself, I had to learn to behave like a man.  That was my form of feminism.  Throughout my career, I was subjected to the usual harassments, insults, omissions and sexual overtures of a male dominated society and therefore identified with the Feminist movement.  When teaching for the American Army in France, I was obliged to wear an official army uniform for “my own protection”, whereas the male instructors were not.  At a job interview at UC Berkeley after completing my studies, the gentleman interviewer suggested that in order for an attractive young lady like me to get a job in the art world, is to find where they are offering jobs and sleep with the men in charge! Moving to Berkeley opened the door to the moral and physical support of other working women artists and friends. From Nancy Selvin’s breakfastgroup, to the Womens Caucus for the Arts, and finally as a board member of WEAD, Womens Environmental Artists Directory, I have enjoyed and benefited from the fruits of the feminist movement , women working together to create more equitable opportunities and a more just society.  When one of the founders of WEAD, Jo Hanson, was asked when men would be invited to join, she would say they would be welcome once women were accepted as equals in the art world, paid equally in the teaching world, and afforded all the same benefits as men in our society.  According to a recent poll on the participation of women artists in museums and galleries, we still have a long way to go.  May this archive and legacy help to elevate the role and recognition of women and their valuable works in the world. 

MAKING WAVES: A Ripple Effect Interactive installation1997-98

Guillermo the Golden Trout, permanent sculpture

Mixed media, recycled metal.  Courtyard & detail.

Trout 40’ L, 800 pounds.  Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA

This installation embodies Thompson’s ongoing concern with healing & survival: focus on world’s drinkable water & endangered species. Children & fellow eco artists participated with drawings on courtyard floor and artworks. Gallery exhibit had educational text & environmental video.


1992   Ceramic, brick, wood, photographs. 

Judah Magnes Museum, Berkeley, CA

“This work began in 1978 when I returned from a journey to Hungary in search of surviving family.  Originally meant to be a memorial to Holocaust victims, the focus changed in the course of its creation.  It became about the healing process and those who survived, about the lifelong challenge of living with and healing traumatic memories.  It is about the mysterious life force that makes us want to live.  At a time with human life on earth is in danger and needs protection, we all need to know more about the nature of survival.  To me, the miracle of our lives is that we can and do survive with the ability to feel life, compassion and love again.  It is to those who have survived with love that I dedicate this work. “


Dimensions variable. 1977-2002 wet clay performances & installations. Image from video: “Survival Matters: The Wetworks of Andrée Singer Thompson” 2007 by Jennifer Steinman; original music by Shinji Eshima 

Series began in 1975 in reaction to close family deaths.  They portray death’s profound finality and our impermanence. Wet to dry clay transitions are a provocative metaphor for time and death, our connection to the earth, and personal transformations. One gift of a loved one’s death is an appreciative return to life after mourning.



Oakland Museum Rooftop Garden, Oakland, CA 

for International Sculpture Conference


Installation about world violence in 24 countries

Mixed media with 38,000 foot long ribbons each representing 100 lives lost


 Raku-fired metal and clay

2000.  15” H x 4” diameter.  In a private collection