Raymond had a short art career (his first gallery showing was in 2000 and he passed away in 2004), but his influence often reached beyond Cincinnati. His drawings crystalize ideas and notions that go beyond reigonalism into a universal territory of creation/destruction. They also exhibit a sarcastic knowingness about the limits of progress, and the necessity of removal/rejuvenation. Here’s a breif synopsis/resume of Raymond’s four-year art career, and some of the milestones after his death.
“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” Pablo Picasso
Raymond Thunder-Sky started showing his work formally in 2000, with an exhibit of twelve drawings at Base Gallery in Cincinnati. His second exhibit, also at the Base Gallery, occurred in 2001; it was a group-show titled, “Art Thing.” This exhibit garnered major media attention from Cincinnati Post, Cincinnati City Beat, Hamilton Journal News, and Cincinnati Enquirer. Raymond’s work has also been shown through America Oh Yes!, a folk-art on-line gallery, with locations in South Carolina, Washington D. C., Atlanta, Georgia, Maryland, and Virginia. On their web-site, he was featured as an emerging artist. Raymond’s work was also featured at the Pittsburgh Folk Art Fair and Seminar in December 2002. There, two pieces were consigned by Gallerie Bourbon-Lally, an Outsider Art gallery located in Montreal, Canada, and shown at the Outsider Art Fair in New York City.
Raymond had his first one-man show at Base Gallery in March, 2003. Titled “Being Torn Down: A Retrospective of Raymond Thunder-Sky’s Life and Work,” the show featured approximately seventy drawings. Raymond’s work has also been featured in exhibits in exhibits at the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Contemporary Art Center (Cincinnati), the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Freedom Center (Cincinnati), Fitton Center for Creative Arts (Hamilton, Ohio), Middletown Fine Arts Center (Ohio), and the Pyramid Hill Art Hair (Hamilton, Ohio).
In November 2003, Raymond’s work was featured in a poster for the University of Michigan’s Ethnic Global Literatures Seminar.
In February 2005, after his death, Raymond’s work was displayed in exhibits at: Duke Energy’s downtown offices (Cincinnati), GBBN Architects (Cincinnati), and Base Gallery. Also, after his death, one of his drawings was accepted into the permanent collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum. His obituary appeared in the Folk Art Messenger, as well as Raw Vision.
In 2008, Raymond’s work was featured at the Good Folk Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as the Atlanta, Georgia Folkfest. Raymond’s work was also featured in a one-person exhibit in Los Angeles, California at the Art Queen Gallery. In 2009, Raymond’s drawings were featured in a group exhibit at the Sandra Small Gallery in Covington, Kentucky, and as well his works and life were honored at the opening of Thunder-Sky, Inc. in Cincinnati. Also in 2009, a mural depicting his work and life was created by Antonio Adams, Cedric Cox and apprentices from the Artworks Program.
Raymond’s art has been featured in:
Folk Art Messenger (the magazine of the American Folk Art Association)
Cincinnati Post (seven articles from 2000 – 2004, five of which written by David Wecker)
Cincinnati Enquirer (three articles from 2002 – 2004)
Cincinnati City Beat (four articles from 2001 – 2004)
Hamilton Journal News (two articles from 2001 – 2004)
America Oh Yes! web-site
American Oh Yes! advertisement in Raw Vision magazine for Emerging Artists exhibit
Channel 9 News (Cincinnati)