Ahnisnabae Art was founded in 1997 by the late Roy Thomas, an Ahnisnabae artist recognized for over 30 years for his distinctive high quality work. Roy Thomas created Ahnisnabae Art to showcase his work and to illustrate and promote the Ahnisnabae culture. Today, the Ahnisnabae Art Gallery is owned and operated by Louise Thomas, and is dedicated to the memory of her late husband. The Ahnisnabae Art Gallery carries on the legacy and dreams of Roy Thomas by showcasing his works, as well as that of several other local artists, thus continuing to support and promote the Ahnisnabae culture.
While primarily concentrating on original work throughout his career, Roy expanded his collection to include silkscreen prints, reproduction prints, art cards depicting time, art etchings on glass. He also published a biography entitled "The Spirit of Ahnisnabae Art".
Roy was critically acclaimed as one of the most brilliant and prolific members of the Woodland School, the art movement that began in the early 1960's. He was a self-taught artist and was guided by the memories of his grandmother who taught him much about the Ahnisnabae culture through her stories. Roy also was inspired by the ancient pictographs in the Northwestern region of Ontario Canada.
The work of Roy Thomas depicts traditional teachings and introduces his interpretation of the Life Spirits which are the Air, Land, Water and Fire.
Louise Thomas has found great inspiration and encouragement for the Ahnisnabae Art Gallery from her sons, her many close friends, and the artists whose works have become part of the Roy Thomas legacy.
Beginning in the New Year 2015 the gallery will be moving into a new location. The gallery has grown and continues grow with more artists, more services.