Syllabic Translator

i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

Click a syllabic button to enter it into the search field above


Or try our Advanced Search tool.

Roy Thomas

Anishinaabe

(1949-2004)

First Name: Roy

Last Name: Thomas

Full Name: Roy Thomas

Alternative Names: Gahgahgeh

Date of birth: 1949

Place of birth: Longlac Reserve at Pacquashun (Moving Waters) near Caramat, Ontario, Canada

Date of death: November 13, 2004

Place of death: Thunder Bay, Canada

Community / Heritage: Anishnaabe

Sex: Male

Art Media: Silkscreen, acrylic, tempera on paper, screen print, etchings on glass.

Bio:

Roy Thomas was a self-taught Anishnaabe artist born in 1949 at Longlac Reserve near Caramat, Ontario, Canada. He was raised by his grandparents, who encouraged him to express himself through art. While listening to his grandmother’s stories, he would draw what he heard with a stick, using sand or snow as his canvas. As he grew older, he replaced the stick with pencil and brush. 

Thomas was given the name “Gahgahgeh”, which means crow. The artist explains:

“I really like birds. When I was young and lived with my grandparents, I found a little crow with a broken wing. It was very weak so I fed it from my meal and I fixed its wing. I saw it for a period of 3 or 4 years. It used to come to me and then go away for a long time. Now I use a little drawing of a crow as a logo after my signature on paintings.” 

Thomas devoted himself to learning the history and teachings of his people, and to promoting Anishnaabe culture. His style was largely influenced by Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig and Carl Ray. Thomas’ work is known for bold lines and colours, depicting totemic animals, Ojibwe traditions and legends, and belongs to the Woodland School of Art. He is largely self-taught, explaining that “I paint to illustrate our stories the best way I can. I do this to teach the old ways so they will not be forgotten. All stories I paint are peaceful, not of people doing bad things to one another. I like everything I paint, I have no favourites.” 

Thomas had numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world. His work is part of major Indigenous art collections across Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan. He continued to work until his death in 2004.

Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions:

  • 2010: Arushi Arts, New Delhi, India. “Unexpected Relation”.
  • 2012: McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. “Vision Circle: The Art Of Roy Thomas - A Retrospective".

Group Exhibitions:

  • 2008: Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. “Wild Things”.
  • 2008: Arushi Arts, New Delhi, India. “Beyond Boundaries”.
  • 2012: Gallery Gevik, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “Canadian Aboriginal Art: a look through the generations”.
  • 2014: Gallery Gevik, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “Canadian Aboriginal Art: a look through the generations”.
  • 2016: MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. “Across the Turtle’s Back: The Kampelmacher Memorial Collection of Indigenous Art”

Collections

  • The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
  • Esso Resources, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada
  • McMichael Canadian Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario
  • The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario
  • The National Museum of Man, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Inuit Gallery, Mannheim, Germany
  • The National Gallery of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan

Articles

Artwork

Title Last Sold At Auction
BIRD & TEEPEE 2007-09 (September 2007)
LOON FAMILY 2012-03 (March 2012)
POSITIVE INSPIRATION; SUMMER FEAST 2012-02 (February 2012)
TURTLE ISLAND 2012-02 (February 2012)
TURTLE ISLAND; GATHERING
UNTITLED 2017-12 (December 2017)
UNTITLED (UNITY) 2018-08 (August 2018)
BEAR WITH TWO CUBS 2011-01 (January 2011)
BIRD AND FISH IN CYCLE OF LIFE 2007-02 (February 2007)
FISH EMBODYING A SHAMAN 2012-05 (May 2012)
GATHERING 2012-03 (March 2012)
GIVING OFFERINGS TO THE WATER GOD 2019-11 (November 2019)
GUIDANCE 2016-03 (March 2016)
GUIDANCE; ROCK PAINTINGS; LEARNING TO PAINT (2) 2009-03 (March 2009)
GULLS AND LITTLE ONES 2015-09 (September 2015)
LOON AND FISH 2015-03 (March 2015)
LOONS AND NORTH STAR
MATERNAL CONNECTION 2015-11 (November 2015)
MATERNAL INSTINCT 2016-09 (September 2016)
MERMAN 2016-03 (March 2016)
OTTER 2011-03 (March 2011)
PARTRIDGE 2019-04 (April 2019)
THREE BIRDS 2010-09 (September 2010)
THUNDERBIRD MOTHER 2016-11 (November 2016)
THUNDERBIRD ON LOON’S WING 2017-02 (February 2017)
TIME & ELEMENTS 2016-03 (March 2016)
UNITY (BEAR & BIRD) 2011-07 (July 2011)
UNTITLED 2018-07 (July 2018)
UNTITLED (BIRD FAMILY) 2016-08 (August 2016)
UNTITLED (UNITY IN NATURE) 2011-01 (January 2011)
UNTITLED (UNITY) 2015-12 (December 2015)
UNTITLED (WOLFMAN) 2010-10 (October 2010)
UNTITLED (YOUNG THUNDERBIRD) 2017-08 (August 2017)
UNTITLED UNTITLED (YOUNG BIRD) 2018-03 (March 2018)

Recent Auction Results

GIVING OFFERINGS TO THE WATER GOD
Estimate: 300 — 500
Sold: Nov 2019 — Sold For: $600
PARTRIDGE
Estimate: 200 — 300
Sold: Apr 2019 — Sold For: $570
UNTITLED (UNITY)
Estimate: 500 — 700
Sold: Aug 2018 — Sold For: $960
UNTITLED
Estimate: 2,000 — 2,500
Sold: Jul 2018 — Sold For: $3,600
UNTITLED UNTITLED (YOUNG BIRD)
Estimate: 300 — 400
Sold: Mar 2018 — Sold For: $330
UNTITLED
Estimate: 1,500 — 2,000
Sold: Dec 2017 — Sold For: $4,800

Featured Content