Alma Thomas, Snoopy Sees a Sunrise, 1970. Acrylic on canvas. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson

Alma W. Thomas devoted her life to capturing the joys of nature—particularly those colors and creations found around the District—and sharing that elated love through her artwork, gardening, community service, and teaching, empowering countless Black youths, artists, and community members along the way. As part of a months-long, citywide celebration of the iconic artist pegged to her 130th birthday, the exhibition Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful at the Phillips Collection offers a panorama of Thomas’ long career, starting at age 15 with her family’s migration from Georgia to D.C. and concluding, at age 81, with her making history as the first Black woman to show solo at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The exhibition—named for the celebration itself—explores the lesser known nuances behind Thomas’ interests in fashion, space, and the environment, though it bursts with her signature style: repeating vivid hues arranged in flowing, abstract designs, revealing only a whisper of reality in the form of wind-strewn wildflowers or well-tended gardens, as in “Pansies in Washington” (1969) or “Breeze Rustling Through Fall Flowers” (1968). The exhibit, like the group of other events across the city over the coming months, promises to be a lyrical meditation on the artistic mission Thomas so radically maintained: “Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.” Oct. 30 to Jan. 23, 2022 at the Phillips Collection. Free–$16.