IN A NUTSHELLA physician in the Navajo Nation for 30 years, Chip Thomas tells his patients’ stories through black and white, giant-sized photo portraits, posted on exterior structures across the reservation’s 27,400 square miles. His social justice-infused art creates openness and visibility for “the most overlooked community in America,” reinforcing connectivity, unity, trust, tolerance, health, and love.
When not working at a low-cost clinic in the Navajo Nation, physician Chip Thomas is known as “Jetsonorama,” a photographer and public artist who creates murals on roadside stands to depict the struggles and humanity of his patients. Originally from North Carolina, Chip entered the Navajo Nation thirty years ago on a four year contract to practice medicine. Today, he is a long-term resident. As the creator and coordinator of the Painted Desert Project, Chip uses photography and collaboration with other artists to create artwork that reflects his love of the rich history shared by the Navajo people. His murals can be found pasted on roadside buildings, on the sides of houses in the northern Arizona desert, and as graphics for climate campaigns such as The People’s Climate Movement, climateprints.org, Justseeds and 350.org.