Chip Thomas: ARTIST, Doctor, Activist

Chip Thomas

Artist, Doctor, Activist

 

May it be beautiful before me.  May it be beautiful behind me.  May it be beautiful below me.  May it be beautiful above me.  May it be beautiful all around me.  In beauty it is finished.  In beauty it is finished.

 

Lines from the Navajo Night Chant and prayer

​ grandma

​Photo is Courtesy of Chip Thomas, All Rights Reserved

Speaking @ GCC on

Friday, March 25th

12 pm to 1:30pm in the Student Union

“His artwork is humble, peaceful, and full of life.

It has a spirit:  It’s alive and speaks to you, creating a connection.”

~Jerilyn Yazzie, GCC Student

Chip Thomas started working in a small community between the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley called Inscription House in 1987. He’d always been drawn to photography and built a darkroom shortly after arriving on the Navajo Nation. His passion photographically is shooting black and white in a documentary style inspired by people like Eugene Smith, Eugene Richards, Joseph Koudelka and others. Going out and spending time with people in their homes and family camps, Thomas has come to know his patients as friends, and found the visits enhanced doctor/patient relationships by helping him be a more empathetic health care practitioner.

Drawn to street art, graffiti and old school hip-hop, Chip was attracted to the energy of the culture in the 80s.  Though miles away from the epicenter, he thought of myself as a charter member of the Zulu Nation and would travel to New York City to see graffiti on trains, on buildings and in galleries.

A trip to Brasil in 2009 coincided with a difficult period in Chip’s life. Though not wasn’t looking for an epiphany, he was fortunate to stumble upon a passionate group of artists working on the street who befriended him. It was during this time that Chip began to appreciate how photography could be a street art form. Infatuated with the feeling he got being with the artists in Salvador do Bahia, he wanted to find a way to keep that vibe going and began pasting images along the roadsides of the Navajo reservation in June 2009.  Read more here.

 

To learn more about Chip Thomas’ story and journey 

through art, medicine and activism, 

come join us March 25th from 

12pm to 1:30pm in the Student Union.

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CHIP THOMAS COMING TO GLENDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE MARCH 25th!!

Chip Thomas

Doctor, Artist, Activist

dr. chip.jpg

Photo is Courtesy of Chip Thomas, All Rights Reserved

Speaking @ GCC on

Friday, March 25th

12 pm to 1:30pm in the Student Union

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, James “Chip” Thomas like his father became a medical doctor.  While attending Nashville’s Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s oldest and largest historically black academic health science centers dedicated to educating physicians, he led First Aid teams in Liberia during the summers.  As an African American, visiting Africa had a profound effect on the young Dr. Thomas.  He would return again to Africa a few years later to join a medical team trekking the length Africa. A 12,107-mile cycling trip, completed in record time, earned Chip’s team a record spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Committed to universal and public health, In 1987 Chip signed a 4-year contract to practice medicine on the Navajo reservation in a government run facility.  He saw himself returning to a developing country later on, but began to appreciate the parallels between Africa and the Navajo Nation.  He fell in love with the people and the land. Almost three decades later, Dr. Chip Thomas still resides on tribal lands in Northern Arizona treating Navajo patients in a rural community.

Dr. Thomas has said that his work as a physician brings him both happiness and sadness.  Photography became a way that he could help reconcile the dualities of medical practice into art that restored balance and reflected back the beauty that he saw around him.

  

To learn more about Chip Thomas’ story and journey 

through medicine, art, and activism, 

come join us March 25th from 

12pm to 1:30pm in the Student Union.

Lost and Found

Students who thought all had been lost after a camera sent up via weather balloon  became untraceable upon descent, were surprised when it was recovered two years later.  It’s a remarkable story and the video, finally revealed, is pretty good as well.  What do you know?  A lucky break.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gopro-grand-canyon_55f79d8be4b00e2cd5e7d1ba