Artist: John Thomas

John Thomas started early. He got his first art degree and started his first rock and roll band in High School. He then went on to get an MFA in film from San Francisco Art Institute and opened at Thomas Brothers Film Studio, at Pier 9 San Francisco, which was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In 1974 he made the documentary  film "Day of The Dead" shot in a grave Yard Mts.  of Central Mexico 1974 and won many Awards."Day of the Dead" has been in distribution for 20 years. He also produced the the underground science-fiction- spoof "TRY" from the era of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

In the 1980s Thomas shifted his focus to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he built a solar, off-the-grid adobe home in Santa Fe which was featured in "Newsweek" magazine. While in Taos, he also painted oil paintings, wrote music and performed in bars and small clubs and worked as a waiter at "The Apple Tree" restaurant.
Thomas moved to Durango, Colorado in 1986 and started the "Durango Kid" retail store. He began teaching in the art department of Fort Lewis College in 1987, but also developed a performance art piece "Samurai and Geisha" which was featured in the Arts section of the Durango Herald.

During this time, Thomas began a ten year period of writing songs and preforming in Durango in bars, occasionally sitting in with the regionally famous band Leftover Salmon who were a big influence in his performance style and song writing.

Not to be pigeonholed, he began supporting himself by creating over 800 paintings of Old West scenes on furniture from which lots of magazine articles flourished on his diverse talents.

Thomas then shifted into his building phase, remodeling old houses on a Durango hillside using recycled materials.  More magazine articles came from that adventure.

Along the way, he wrote the first song of the Opera, " 24 lbs" and was inspired to do a photo shoot of the Cowgirls. Of course that led to more cowgirl songs with poet and fiddle player Karla Miller. And more cowgirls songs that he wrote on his own till they eventually coalesced into an the Opera.

John Thomas now lives in Mancos, Colorado where he is a Town Board Trustee and is a Master Mason at Masonic Lodge 100. He continues to write and perform humorous songs about his wives and lovers (which someday may become another opera). He has videos of his stage performances on his Facebook page.

Thomas recently turned 60 and at the insistance of local promoter and long-time friend Tami Graham (who helped organize the original Cowgirl photo-shoot), who has offered to act as spiritual adviser to bring the Opera to fruition as a live staged performance after 20 years of evolution. With the introduction of this website, Thomas sees that there's no turning back.

John Thomas is now stampeding with enthusiastic friends and cowgirls to the Durango Arts Center Stage sometime in the early summer of 2010!