Andy Thomas, son of Clarke and Olive Thomas, was born in Murfreesboro, TN on September 6, 1957, and moved to Carthage the following year. Andy graduated Carthage High School in 1975 and went on to attend Missouri Southern State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in marketing management. He had a career as a commercial artist and later director of marketing for Leggett & Platt, Inc. before resigning in 1991 to focus full-time on his own art, namely historical and western narratives. Andy’s nationally recognized work now hangs in numerous museums, galleries, national parks, and private collections.
Perhaps most famous for his hugely popular paintings of the “Grand O’ Gang” Republican and “True Blues” Democratic presidents playing cards, Andy paints many subjects – from cowboys, to kids playing sports, tales of the sea, horseracing and more. Many call him ‘The Storyteller’ for his unique ability to bring characters and action to life in his paintings. Over the years, Andy has completed 29 major paintings for the National Park Service, including Civil War battlefields at Fort Donelson, Fort Henry, and Stones River in Tennessee, as well as Pea Ridge in Arkansas. He has painted numerous Civil War events, primarily the Trans-Mississippi theatre. His work has been on exhibit and/or is a part of the permanent collections of the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Carthage Civil War Museum. Many of Andy’s historical images have been used in books and as book covers, and various paintings have been featured in numerous magazines. His work has won many awards and throughout his career he has been part of numerous shows from across the United States.
Over his lifetime in Carthage, Andy has shared his talents with the community, first with a mural entitled “Memories of Carthage High” at the Carthage R9 Auditorium on Main Street, later designing the theme artwork for the 2011 Carthage Maple Leaf Celebration and Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and most recently with a design that will fill a major outdoor wall on the Historic Carthage Square. Andy was named Carthage Citizen of the Year and received the Artist Award at the Carthage Chamber of Commerce Banquet in 2013. He is an inaugural member of the Russell Skull Society of Artists. In 2020, Andy received the Distinguished Alum Award from MSSU.
Andy and his wife Dina Thomas (née Oliverio) married in 1988, work together in art, and raised a family of six together in Carthage.