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Artist D. Michael Thomas

D. Michael Thomas is a storyteller. He speaks with his hands to create work that captures a way of life that has either gone to history or is fast disappearing. It is said that in order to understand the present, one must first understand the past. The same may be said about the work of an artist.

Mike was raised in western Wyoming, in the big-open-country that was being worked in much the same way as it had in generations past. His father, a state game warden, bequeathed to him a passionate love for the land. His mother, a professional artist, gave him the ability to tell a good story by bringing images to life.

He discovered his talent late one night when he managed to get his hands wrapped around a chunk of clay. Lost in what he was doing, he realized that half the night had passed when he looked down and saw, in place of the clay, artwork lying in front of him. That was the night he discovered his life’s calling. The year was 1976.

He worked several jobs after graduating from college, all of them directly tied to the ag community where he felt his roots. Old timers who’d cross his path would take time to tell him stories that resonated deeply with the artist that was beginning to emerge from inside of him. These history lessons prompted him to recount the Johnson County Range War in two works: “Riding For The Brand” and its mate, “Living On The Edge”. It was these pieces that gave him the confidence he needed in order to take the next big step and set off on his own run as a full time artist. 

The rest of his life, like the rest of his art, speaks for itself. He has relentlessly combined his passion for western history and his talent for creating still life action as a way to make history come alive. In doing so, his hands have touched many. And in touching his work, many hands have touched the past.

2024 University of Wyoming Alumni Association
UWAA Building a Better Wyoming Award

2023 - 2025 Jim Gatchell Museum Exhibit

2021 Cheyenne Frontier Days Honoring Chris LeDoux

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D. Michael Thomas' monument, Just LeDoux It, was unveiled for the 125th anniversary of Cheyenne Frontier Days in the summer of 2021. The monument will is visible from both directions on I-25, positioned at the main dropoff point for the new parking lot.

Just LeDoux It - 20" - Edition 50
24"h x 30"l x 12"w

Just LeDoux It - 10" - Edition 125
13"h x 13"l x 6"w

Sculptures available directly through Cheyenne Frontier Days. Own a piece of history here.

In 2021, this life-and-1/2+ bronze monument will be added to the sculpture collection in Frontier Park, memorializing the ties of Chris LeDoux to the rodeo and music worlds, and his place in the Cheyenne Frontier Days history.

Proceeds benefit the 125th Cheyenne Frontier Days celebration through the Cheyenne Frontier Days Foundation; Sculptures are available directly from Cheyenne Frontier Days.

2021 Featured in Cowboys & Indians Magazine - July, 2021

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D. Michael Thomas' work, Just LeDoux It is featured in the July, 2021 edition of Cowboys & Indians Magazine, available now.