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Albuquerque Museum Presents Visiting Artist Chip Thomas

Thomas, a.k.a. “Jetsonorama,” will activate the museum’s lobby with his iconic photo murals.
April 02, 2024

The Albuquerque Museum is proud to present Chip Thomas as a visiting artist from April 1, 2024 through April 6, 2025. 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 twenty-two 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 Dialog which will be on view beginning in fall 2024.

“Chip Thomas's large scale photo installations serve as a poignant reminder that art has the power to transcend boundaries, connect with communities, and inspire change,” said Josie Lopez, head curator of the Albuquerque Museum. “Through his insightful interactions, Thomas deftly navigates the intersection of art, history, and activism, leaving an indelible mark on both the cultural landscape and the hearts of those who inhabit his photographs. In this most recent project, he collaborates with Sabrina Manygoats to create an installation on the museum’s lobby walls to show how uranium mining impacts the land and people of New Mexico.”

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