““Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.””
Chip Thomas, aka “jetsonorama” is a photographer, public artist, and physician who has been working between Monument Valley and The Grand Canyon in the Navajo Reservation for the last 28 years. There, he coordinates the Painted Desert Project – a constellation of murals across the Navajo Nation painted by artists from all around the world. These murals aim to reflect the love, culture and rich history shared by the Navajo people back on to the community. He is a member of the Justseeds Artists Co-operative, a collective of 30 socially-engaged artists. You can find his large scale photographs pasted on the roadside, on the sides of houses in the desert, on the graphics of the Peoples Climate March, and on 350.org carbon emissions campaign materials.
Chip Thomas shares the stories of his indigenous neighbors with large scale murals in cities from Oakland, California, to Phoenix, Arizona. His work under the name Jetsonorama has drawn attention to the impact of uranium mining on the Navajo people. This story was produced by KQED Arts in San Francisco.