Located in hallway RC 101 (Dr. William Riddell Centre 1st floor)
Guidance (AP), 1985
Serigraph on paper
21″ x 25″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; pc.1985.1
Serigraph on paper
18″ x 22″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; pc.1985.2
“Ahnisnabae people are people of this land. We don’t own this land, we didn’t make it. You can recognize my work as the art of the ahnisnabae. When I use my paintbrush, I understand that I’m not the only one doing the paintings. Even though my name goes on the finished work.”
Considered one of the most influential Indigenous artists in Canada, Roy Thomas was born in 1949 on a trapline between Caramat and Longlac, Ontario. He grew up on the Longlac Reserve in the Anishinaabe tradition. After a tragic car accident took the lives of his parents, Thomas was raised by his grandparents. Self-taught, Thomas’ first drawings were impermanent, inscribed into sand or snowbanks with the end of a stick. His grandparents recognized his talent and encouraged him to draw what came to mind while listening to their stories.
He later became a painter in the Ojibwa Woodland style, recalling the visions from the stories of his youth. Deeply interested in his own cultural history, Thomas visited ancient pictographs found on the rocks around Lake Superior and Northwestern Ontario. “The paintings I do today are very similar to the ones that are in the pictographs. The meanings are the same.” Thomas became well known for his art when it gained mainstream popularity in the late 1960’s and early 70’s.
After rescuing a crow as a young boy, Thomas’ grandmother gave him the name Gahgahgeh (meaning crow). As acknowledgement for her contribution to his art practice, Thomas added a small crow to his signature.
“All life is connected; the artist to the brush, the brush to the creatures and the trees, the paint to the earth, the canvas to the plants.”