Samuel Thomas: New Beginnings

Samuel Thomas, White Moccasins, 2013; Blue Hummingbird Box, 2012; Stone Giant Bag, 1999-2000; Purple Strawberry Box, 1999. Photo: Jimmy Limit

Samuel Thomas: New Beginnings

November 17, 2023 – March 30, 2024
RiverBrink Art Museum, Queenston

Curated by Debra Antoncic

This exhibition brings together recent work by celebrated Haudenosaunee artist Samuel Thomas, alongside selections from his previous body of work. Framed as a statement of renewed purpose and a fresh start, the exhibition explores themes of continuity and innovation, community collaboration, and Indigenous storytelling. Art works in the exhibition highlight the artist’s transition from traditional beading to a contemporary art practice.

Samuel Thomas is a member of the Lower Cayuga Band of the Iroquois Nation. He lives in Niagara Falls, Ontario. For over forty years, Sam has worked to resurrect beadwork styles from the 18th and 19th centuries. He has recovered several “lost” techniques, and in the process, has garnered international respect for Iroquois beadwork. He is largely self-taught, informed by extensive study of museum/collector pieces, books and illustrations. Thomas received additional training with tanner Juliette Meness-Ferguson, beadworker Faith DuBuc, and Royal Ontario Museum curator Dr. Trudy Nicks. Sam’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the British Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, the National Gallery of Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Smithsonian Institution, along with museum, gallery and private collections in the Netherlands, Germany and Australia.

Samuel Thomas: New Beginnings exhibition. Photo: Jimmy Limit

For more information about RiverBrink Art Museum Contact:

RiverBrink Art Museum
116 Queenston Street
Queenston, ON L0S 1L0

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We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario and the Radlett Foundation.