Chip Thomas and The Painted Desert Project
I had the utmost pleasure of working with one of my ALL-TIME favorite artists this past month. We drove up to Hotchkiss, CO (population 923) from the Navajo reservation in Northern AZ June 4-8. And let me tell you... breathtakingly beautiful drive through the reservation, Monument Valley, Telluride and the San Juan Ntnl Forest. We were greeted by the whole town with such amazing hospitality and excitement. The neighbors would come chat with us, tell us stories, bring us snacks (chocolate kisses and grapes) and just watch us work.
A little more about Chip- he's originally from North Carolina and attended Med-school with a government grant on the condition he spend at least 2 years in an underserved area. He was sent to The Navajo Reservation near Shonto, AZ and 27 years later, that's where he remains. He began pasting his photographs in 2009, which is when I started seeing them. They are large scale murals spread through out Northern AZ, mostly on the rez. He was recently invited to work with street artists in Australia and has had the amazing pleasure of hosting the talented Alexis Diaz with him on the rez. Chip has also been featured in multiple magazines, inlcuding Men's Health and Reader's Digest, as well as speaking and installing at the Yuma Art Symposium.
The mural is of a little Hopi girl named Mezli. She is one of twins so let's hope her sister doesn't get too jealous. It was contructed of 28 strips of paper, 3 feet wide and approx 6 feet long. We used buckets and buckets of paste to get little Mezli up there and the reesults were/are phenomenal.
I've included some photos of his work that I have, as well as photos from our trip and installation. Watch out for this guy! Big things...
Find more of Chip
And a lovely article written about the mural
Driving into Monument Valley
Telluride area... AMAZING!
Gas station moth friend
Poor guy :(
Little Brewery in Paonia, CO
We built that scaffolding... exhausting to say the least!
Navajo National Monument
1200 year old ruins
Insane beauty... am I right?!
Alexis Diaz on the rez