Roy Thomas (1949-2004)

The Beginning of Time
The Beginning of Time
acrylic on canvas, 47" × 95"
Two Loons & Turtle
Two Loons & Turtle
acrylic on canvas, 45" × 42"
Serpent Curse
Serpent Curse, 1975
acrylic on board, 24" × 30"


Roy Thomas (1949-2004) – Artist Biography

Born in 1949, Roy Thomas was an Ojibwa artist who devoted himself to learning the history and teachings of his people. Thomas' paintings have a quality that commands attention without overwhelming the viewer. His oeuvre reveals an illuminating simplicity - a conversation with Roy was comparable to the stroke of his paintbrush. Roy's work transcends the Ojibwa Woodland Style of his predecessors. His paintings incorporate elements of Ojibwa tradtions, legends and realistic depictions of Native life. Roy often worked with artistically gifted people of various backgrounds and his paintings reflect the ideas he drew from these experiences. Roy Thomas's life and work were recently highlighted in Vision Circle: The Art of Roy Thomas: A Retrospective Exhibition by the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

The Spirit of Ahnisnabae Art: A Gallery Edition, by James R. Stevens

I walked into the AGO and it was a rainbow of colours. On the right there were six huge pieces by Norval Morrisseau. On the left there were six wonderful pieces by Daphne Odjig and in the center, there were my six pieces. I don't know who did the installation but when I walked in there and saw my paintings placed between the two of them I felt a lump in my throat. I always wondered if I would have a chance to show in the same gallery as Daphne and Norval. It was the answer to one of my dreams. The show was amazing. It was such an honour to be in a show with so many people I admired and cherished. Blake Debassige wore a handsome grey tuxedo. Saul Williams was there from Round Lake. Everywhere there were waiters pouring Seven-Up and handing out Benson & Hedges cigarettes. A three-piece band with a harp was playing music. Dressed up people everywhere. I lost Daphne in the crowd, then I noticed her up in the gallery and I went up there to see her. She told me she didn't care for this kind of thing. I looked down at all the people socializing and talking about the paintings. I felt very proud.

— Roy Thomas

Click here to view artist's C.V.

Daphne OdjigDaphne Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97. Click here for more details.

Odjig is frequently referred to as the "Grandmother of Indigenous Art." She has been the recipient of many awards, honours and recognitions for her works, to name a few: The Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award, and eight Honorary Doctorates. Her works have been shown in the National Gallery of Canada, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

She established the first native-run fine art print house in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1971. Known as 'Odjig Indian Prints,' this print house was so successful that it evolved into an Indigenous gallery space in 1974, called the New Warehouse Gallery, run by Odjig and her husband, Chester Beavon. She was also a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. This artistic group's purpose was to promote Contemporary Indigenous art and artists.

Alex JanvierAlex Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" is now on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary Indigenous artists. His career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and public commissions. This retrospective of his artwork is on display from 25 November 2016 to 17 April 2017.

(Photo credit: Kim Griffiths) Click here for more details.