Thomas GreyEyes is an interdisciplinary artist from the Navajo Nation and was raised throughout the state of Arizona. He is Hashk’aan Hadzohi (yucca fruit strung out in a line) born for Todichiinii (bitter water).
For his undergraduate degree he majored in Intermedia from Arizona State University and graduated in fall of 2011. He has taught media and studio art classes at the college level on the San Carlos Apache reservation. Tom continues to give back to the disenfranchised community by teaching youth mural workshops. In 2012 GreyEyes was awarded the Phoenix New Times Big Brain award in Visual Art. To further attempt to combine Art and Activism he took part in a Ruckus Society non-violent direct action training camp using the Big Brain award money. Tom has also participated in acclaimed Artist residency programs at ASU through Map(ing) and the School of Unity and Liberation in Oakland, CA.
Looking for ways to further reconnect with culture and the issues Navajo people face; making art was a way to reclaim a part of his own identity. The theme of the colonized indigenous who refuses with the status quo is apparent in the work. The culture clashes that native peoples have experienced are the sources that drive the artwork. Using site-specific graffiti installations, print, performance and video art to convey anti authoritarian messages to the dominant society.
Tom honed his artist practice to include political messages coming from the Indigenous perspective on anti-colonialism, decolonization and protest. The work challenges Western ideas of what it means to be a human being and the stereotypical ideas of native peoples in America. GreyEyes believes humanity is at a critical time and he states “In the process of decolonization theory there’s a part where the colonized start to dream again. We look at creating a new future. I believe art plays a vital component in realizing what our ancestors have always prayed for.”