T.C. Cannon was born in 1946 in Lawton, Oklahoma. He attended public schools in Gracemont, Oklahoma from 1955-64. He then had two years at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. While there he worked with Fritz Scholder and learned much from him. After one year at the San Francisco Art Institute he returned to Santa Fe to attend college there, studying painting and philosophy during 1969-70.
In 1971 Cannon enters Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma, where he graduated three years later. Painting and Graphics by TC Cannon , is the first major exhibit for Cannon and is shown at the Southern Plains Indian Museum, arts and crafts center in Anadarko, Oklahoma. In 1972 the Smithsonian Institute honored Cannon and Fritz Scholder with a two man show at the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington D.C. Cannon is now established as an artist of national note. In 1974 Cannon makes his permanent home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1975 Cannon is invited to become part of the famous artist -in- residence at Dartmouth College. During this year he begins to plan a collaborations with Japanese master woodcutter Maeda and master printer Uchikawa. This relationship, which continued until the time of his death, resulted in a publication of what is known as the Memorial Woodcut Suite.
T. C. Cannon is regarded as the most eloquent and innovative of the Native American Artist, who helped change the direction of the traditional Indian art to the “New Wave” movement that characterizes that Genre today.