Kansas Artist Jerry Thomas

(Frank) And we’re back again. Wasn’t that fun visiting Sampler Festival? I can’t wait. Cannot wait to have a booth and see everybody come through. Frank, I think that you and I should have those cutouts you know where you can have your picture made and people can stick their face into our faces instead. Wouldn’t that be neat? (Frank) Oh yea, it sure would. (Deb) Or we could have the standup of you and me and people could have their pictures made with us, you know if we’re not there. (Frank) Uh hum. (Deb) Yea, we’ll work on that. I think that would be neat. (Frank) Alright. Oh my. You know Kansas is full of so much talent, past and present and I’m sure future. And so you’re going to be talking about another artist that people should know about. (Deb) Jerry Thomas. Just a Kansas treasure. And I do not say that lightly. Nobody loves Kansas more than Jerry. Nobody has done more to preserve its history through art and tell its stories through art and he started out doing wildlife things and moved on, he’s worked with everybody. He’s done, he’s been commissioned to do the stuff for the Governor’s Turkey Hunt and I’ll tell you all about it in the segment. But he and his wife LeAnn from Scott City, just incredible people generous with their time and energy and promoting Kansas and he’s working very hard on the El Quartelejo site down near Scott City. And we could not have a better ambassador, period. Just could not. Just awesome people. (Frank) OK. (Deb) Awesome people. (Frank) So, let’s take a look. (Deb) Jerry Thomas is as much a product of the High Plains of Kansas as Monument Rocks or the buffalo grass that stretches like buckskin over the landscape. A graduate of Scott Community High School, he studied business at Southwestern College in Winfield. At K-State, he pursued a master’s in Architecture, Community Planning and Development. In 1986, he became a full time artist and formed a partnership with other businessmen to promote his work. Jerry was drawn at an early age to the excitement and nostalgia of the Wild West, the wildlife, the trails and the history of the West, all became an important inspiration for Thomas and his paintings. His attention to detail and countless hours of research have become a hallmark of his images, which are displayed in many private and corporate collections. Since Jerry began marketing his work, he has garnered numerous awards and much recognition. His credits include designing the Kansas Wildlife Habitat Award, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Corporate Stewardship Award, and being named the Governor’s Turkey Hunt “Artist of the Year” following his colleague and mentor, the late Wayne Willis. Other honors include being named Kansas Ducks Unlimited Sponsor Artist, National Ducks Unlimited Guest Artist, and the Golden Waterfowl Artist for Waterfowl USA. He Designed the Kansas State Duck Stamp in 1992 and 1996, was named Kansas Wildlife Artist of the Year twice. He created the book covers for the Kansas fort series written by historian Leo Oliva. His painting, “The River”, for Kansas Wildscape Inc., helped to create the Zach Hudec Memorial Wetlands at Milford Reservoir. Jerry’s work is also featured in the recently published US Infantry Association Collector’s Edition Book. Other works include “Get Em Boys,” my personal favorite. Jerry commented that he was very humbled and honored to be selected as the Chairman of the venture to preserve, develop and promote our “one of a kind” national and state treasure, “El Quartelejo,” ruins, the Pueblo ruins in historic Scott State Park. Jerry’s gallery and collection is unique in so many ways, but most special because it reflects Jerry’s love and passion for Kansas and its profound history.