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Visiting Artists and Installations

Artist Chip Thomas' artwork on view April 1, 2024 - April 6, 2025

Chip Thomas, Jordan, Jr on horseback and Cyndy John Begaye holding a photo of her dad, a uranium miner

Chip Thomas, panaceas, promises + problems, Jordan, Jr on horseback and Cyndy John Begaye holding a photo of her dad, a uranium miner

2024, digital reproduction of original photograph

Chip Thomas

Chip Thomas, also known by his street art moniker Jetsonorama, is a physician, public artist, and activist who began practicing medicine in the Navajo Nation in 1987. According to Thomas, "In June of 2009 I started a self-funded, public art project on the Navajo Nation, Western Agency, I called ‘Big.’ I went back through 22 years of negatives and started blowing photographs up larger than life and wheat pasting them onto roadside stands and abandoned buildings. I'm still amazed at the resonance this project has with people on the reservation and amongst travelers passing through. I'm thankful for having found this form of self-expression as a means of relating to the community where I've lived and worked for almost half of my life."

Thomas’ large-scale wheat-pasted photo murals bring together images, memories, emotions, people, and stories deeply rooted in the land, history, and cultural backdrop of the Navajo Nation. Thomas disrupts vast landscapes by activating large structures as canvases for murals that uplift community members as they see themselves and their stories larger than life. The murals have served as vehicles for public health announcements during the COVID-19 pandemic and as sites of collaboration with other artists and activist organizations. The murals also communicate with non-Indigenous viewers, bringing attention to the issues that persist in many tribal nations. 

Thomas will activate the Museum’s lobby with his iconic photo murals as Albuquerque Museum’s 2024 Visiting Artist. He is also one of the participating artists in Broken Boxes: A Decade of Art, Action, and Dialogue which will be on view beginning fall of 2024.

Albuquerque Museum’s Visiting Artist program is generously funded by the Frederick Hammersley Fund for the Arts at the Albuquerque Community Foundation

About the 
Albuquerque Museum 
Visiting Artist Program

Since 2011, the Visiting Artist program at Albuquerque Museum has featured contemporary artists with a connection to New Mexico. The annual program provides an invited artist the opportunity to reimagine and activate the museum’s lobby, which is the first space visitors encounter upon entering the museum. The program includes the display of the artist’s work for one year, public engagement, and artist talks. The program aims to provide a bridge between the artistic practice of the visiting artist and the experience of contemporary art by the public.

The Visiting Artist program considers artists with compelling conceptual creativity. The large-scale space of the museum lobby has inspired several artists to create site-specific installations. Artists, however, are given the freedom to determine how they want to interact with the space.



Artist in Residence: Gronk

Artist in Residence: Larry Bob Phillips

Artist in Residence: Ernest Doty

Artist in Residence: Lea Anderson

Artist-in-Residence: Virgil Ortiz

Artist-in-Residence: Paul Sarkisian

Karl Hofmann: Shapeshifters

Nicola Lopez: Haunted

Cannupa Hanska Luger

Artist-in-Residence: Ronald Rael