Press Release

Fort Lauderdale, FL – April 16, 2021– NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale will present the first solo museum exhibition of Miami artist Thomas Bils from May 15 through Fall 2021.

This exhibition features works from Bils’ ongoing series, Still Cheaper Than Paying in which the artifacts of his financial obligations, such as parking citations and insurance bills, transcend their monetary status by being transformed into drawings that he sells for the exact price of the original bill through social media or by commission. The crowdsourcing of his drawings on bills is an essential element of this project as it brings the artist closer to his goal of living at net-zero. The title Still Cheaper Than Paying refers to the original catalyst for the project — Bils’ sentiments about receiving parking tickets — that it was cheaper to pay the fines than it was to pay the meter.

The exhibition, which also includes paintings Bils based on some of these drawings, will be installed in NSU Art Museum’s William J. Glackens Wing, where it will be shown in tandem with the exhibition From Pencil to Paint, which highlights the influence of Glackens’ illustrations and drawings on his paintings. For Glackens, his illustrations for magazines and books was a financial transaction, which supported his life as a painter.

Thomas Bils: Still Cheaper Than Paying is curated by Bonnie Clearwater, Director and Chief Curator and Ariella Wolens, Bryant-Taylor Curator, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale.

Thomas Bils was born in 1993 in Melbourne, Florida. He moved to Miami to study painting at New World School of The Arts, receiving a BFA in 2017. He lives and works in Miami as an artist in residence at Bakehouse Art Complex. He was a 2019 Oolite Arts Home and Away resident artist at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass, CO.

 NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is located at One East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. For more information, please visit or call 954-525-5500. Follow the Museum on social media @nsuartmuseum.

About NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

Founded in 1958, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is a premier destination for exhibitions and programs encompassing many facets of civilization’s visual history. Located midway between Miami and Palm Beach in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s arts and entertainment district, the Museum’s 83,000 square-foot building, which opened in 1986, was designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes and contains over 25,000 square feet of exhibition space, the 256seat Horvitz auditorium, a museum store and café. In 2008, the Museum became part of Nova Southeastern University (NSU), one of the largest private research universities in the United States. NSU Art Museum is known for its significant collection of Latin American art, contemporary art with an emphasis on art by Black, Latinx and women artists, African art that spans the 19th to the 21st-century, as well as works by American artist William Glackens, and the European Cobra group of artists. Two scholarly research centers complement the collections: The Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman Latin American Art Study Center and the William J. Glackens Study Center.

Exhibitions and programs at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale are made possible in part by a challenge grant from the David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation. Funding is also provided by the City of Fort Lauderdale, AutoNation, Community Foundation of Broward, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

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