Painter of the Desert

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown November 14th, 2013 Last Updated on: November 14th, 2013

One of Chip Thomas’s first works was an image of World War II Navajo Code Talkers. He pasted it at night on the wall of an abandoned jewelry stand. ”When I drove by a week later, I was surprised to see a family repairing the stand.” Chip stopped by to chat and learned that tourists had begun to stop by to photograph the stand. The family had decided to start using it again.

When Chip revealed that it was him who had pasted the image there, the family asked him to place a picture also at the other end, to stop traffic coming from that direction.

This was the first validation from the community to Chip’s art. It was also his first insight into the potential of art to support roadside vendors’ income. “More importantly, I appreciated the potential of this work to bridge cultures and races of people.”


Photo by Maria Jain

Continue reading the interview with Chip Thomas and The Painted Desert Project on Citizen Brooklyn.

Find The Painted Desert Project on Facebook.

Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » Painter of the Desert

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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