Gary Thomas has been an advertising illustrator in Cleveland, Ohio since 1958, doing work for the Ohio State University, Notre Dame University, Miami University in Ohio, Sea World of Ohio and San Diego, Eaton Corp., Proctor & Gamble, Wilson Sporting Goods, and many other national corporations. Over the years he began specializing in sports art, and became the dominant artist for the PRO FOOTBALL HALL of FAME in Canton, Ohio when it opened in 1963. He has drawn over 65% of the 280 action drawings that accompany the busts of the enshrined players. In 1983 he was commissioned to create 12 murals depicting the “12 Great Moments in Bowling” for the newly built BOWLING HALL of FAME in St. Louis, Missouri. It since has moved to Dallas, Texas. In 1985 he began painting inductees in the U.S. OLYMPIC HALL of FAME, sponsored by Coca Cola in Atlanta, GA., doing 53 portraits over a seven year period. In 1989 he was selected to paint all of the players in the Football Hall of fame for GOAL LINE ART cards, a limited edition series of collector cards that are still going strong to this day.
In 2005 he started working with the GATEWAY STAMP COMPANY creating artwork of sports celebrities for their specialized autographed envelopes. He estimates that over his career he has painted and drawn almost 400 different athletes.
His medium of choice is acrylic paints, but he has also used charcoal pencils and pastels for some of his landscape paintings.