Gallery Events And News

Learn about the latest Medicine Man Gallery happenings; all about our artist, see our educational videos about native American art and fine art, watch podcasts with your favorite artists and check out art and history-related links we think you'll enjoy.

Essential West Magazine

Exploring Art, Literature, History, Museums, Lifestyle, and Cultures of the West

It amazes me that four letters - W-E-S-T - have the ability to evoke an instantaneous emotional image. Simply the act of reading these four letters has caused you to form a narrative of your west.

Can the West be distilled to its essence - a simple direction or region? I believe not; it is a deeper dive of consciousness. How America sees itself and the world defines us. Diverse cultures, strong individualism, open spaces, and raw natural beauty marinated in a roughshod history have formed this region’s unique milieu.

Our online magazine’s primary focus is to feature relevant topics in art, literature, history, museums, lifestyle, and culture; lofty goals for any publication. No single magazine can be the beckon of all things western; it is a diverse, evolving paradigm that cannot be pigeonholed. As the publisher, I hope to be the buffalo that grazes the wide expanse of western sensibility and relay to you a glimpse of how I perceive our Essential West.

- Mark Sublette

Featured Article

Artists take up the call...
Artists take up the call of protecting California's Giant Kelp forests

A warming planet means warming waters, too. With all the climate induced heat waves, forest fires and floods wreaking havoc on land – where we live – it’s easy to forget humanity’s carbon emissions are having an equally devastating impact on marine life. On coral reefs and fish, and off the California coast, Giant Kelp. The Birch Aquarium...

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Color Riot! exhibits the evolution of Navajo textiles through exposure to synthetic color dyes from 1860 to the early 1900s

  Navajo Transitional Blanket c. 1890s, 113" x 65.5"   Wassily Kandinsky is widely recognized as the world’s first abstract painter. The first visual artist to completely break away from representation in his artworks.  For that reason, every art history textbook and museum centers him as an indispensable figure of the 20th century.  While undoubtedly essential, abstraction didn’t begin with a “big bang” off the easel of Kandinsky. No one person is responsible for abstraction any more than one person being responsible for Impressionism or the Renaissance. Recent scholarship places lesser-known Hilma Af Klint as working abstractly years before Kandinsky....

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From the Vault: Identifying authentic Navajo bracelets from 1870-1900

By Michael Clawson, Guest Writer   Navajo Ingot Silver Bracelet c. 1900s, Size 5.75   “Ingot, simplicity and wear,” Mark Sublette says in his video about identifying early Navajo bracelets. Those three aspects are what the experts look for when looking at early Navajo jewelry, and they can also help collectors of all stripes as they consider adding to their jewelry collections.   Some of the most beautiful Navajo bracelets come out of an important period spanning from 1870 to 1900. It was during this period that Navajo artisans were inspired by the Spanish, but also Native Americans to the...

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The art museum of the future has arrived - in Tucson

  Tucson Museum of Art Kasser Family wing of Latin American Art Exterior, Photo by Tim Fuller The art museum of the future is already here. You can find it in Tucson, Arizona. Years before the summer of 2020 when it became painfully obvious to museums that they must diversify their collections and programming, discard their century-old obsession with white, male artists and open their spaces for work better suited to reflect their communities, the Tucson Museum of Art was planning for its first expansion since 1975. An expansion that would continue bringing the institution’s Latin American art to the...

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Mitch Epstein Shows Faces Of American Resistance At Amon Carter Museum Of American Art

  Mitch Epstein (b. 1952), 'Joshua Flyinghorse and William Nelson Williams III 'Nine Tails,' Rosebud Camp, Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, North Dakota 2017.'(C) BLACK RIVER PRODUCTIONS, LTD. / MITCH EPSTEIN. COURTESY OF SIKKEMA JENKINS & CO. NEW YORK   Being there makes all the difference. Not only being there, going back. Spending enough time in a place to understand it. Understand its people. Talking to them–yes–but more importantly, listening. Mitch Epstein has crisscrossed the country from his home in New York City, placing himself in resistance movements well- and little-known from Standing Rock, North Dakota to Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania and...

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"The Spirit Who Walks Among His People"

  Trailer for Lisa Gerstner's new documentary on the life of Earl Biss   Lisa Gerstner gave that subtitle to both her Earl Biss biography, published in 2018, and her nearly completed, feature-length documentary of the Crow (Apsáalooke) painter. Gerstner first met Biss at a party in Aspen, Colorado in 1994 through a mutual friend. The friend thought Gerstner should write Biss’ biography. Gerstner was not a professional writer and with only a few published articles under her belt, had never attempted a project so ambitious. She recalls in the book, “Experiences with Earl Biss,” the artist sizing her up...

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K Art Gallery Brings Contemporary Native American Art From Across The Country To Buffalo, New York

  Luzene Hill, 'Retracing the Tract,' 2015. Installation   Who thinks 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic which has devastated the cultural sector, would be a good time to open a new art gallery? Who thinks focusing the efforts of that gallery solely on one of the most marginalized communities in American society and the art marketplace, contemporary Native American, would be a good idea? Who thinks doing all of this in Buffalo, New York makes sense? Dave Kimelberg does. Kimelberg, a Seneca Nation of Indians (Bear Clan) member, is the owner and founder of K Art, one of the only...

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Protecting an Icon of the West, the Majestic Sage Grouse 

  Noppadol Paothong (American, born Thailand, 1973), Monarch of Sky and Land, n.d., Photo on canvas. 30 x 40 x 1 ½ inches. © Noppadol Paothong.   Grizzly bears. Wolves. Bison. For well over a century, Americans have fought–in the wilderness, in legislatures and in courtrooms–over the role these iconic animals should play in the contemporary West, whether that contemporary West be 1880, 1980 or today. On one side are the people seeking to extract their personal fortunes from the land, those who want the wild animals pushed out. On the other side, the people who believe the animals have...

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Kenneth Begay's unique perspective, sleek designs, and skill set place him as one of the most important silversmiths during the 1950-70s.  

By Mark Sublette   View Available Kenneth Begay Pieces Here   Arizona's fledgling statehood was barely a year old, and  Native Americans wouldn't have the right to vote for another eleven years when Kenneth Begay was born in a hogan in rural Steamboat Canyon in Eastern Arizona.  The wide-vista Colorado Plateau lined with rows of red- yellow sandstone buttes was where the fledging silversmith learned his craft at the Fort Wingate Indian School. His mentor was the famous silversmith Fred Peshlakai who had begun teaching at the school in 1931.  Fred and his younger brother Frank were the sons of...

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Medicine Man Gallery to unveil new jewelry line from owner Mark Sublette

Click here to see Mark Sublette Collection Signature Haute Couture Jewelry By Michael Clawson, guest writer     Thirty years ago, Medicine Man Gallery owner Mark Sublette found an 1840s New Mexican Saltillo blanket that had a unique chevron design woven into it. The geometric form, the history in the fibers, the subtle colors—it was captivating.  “That simple design represented the Southwest to me,” Sublette says. “It became my banner. It became who I am.” Sublette is now using that chevron design, which is also the logo for the gallery, as the central motif in a new line of jewelry...

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Josh Elliott returns to Medicine Man Gallery with a collection of stunning new desert scenes

By Michael Clawson, guest writer   Josh Elliott "Shiprock, Shadows, and Shelter" | 35" x 32" | Oil on Panel   Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick once said, “Observation is a dying art.” His point, one reinforced in his films, was to stubbornly wait out the silence by just looking. Witnessing. Waiting. Early in his career, painter Josh Elliott found himself behind an easel in the desert. The Montana-based artist had only painted mountains and forests, snow-flecked ridges and rocky peaks, and glacial valleys filled with emerald water. Suddenly the desert seemed so alien and strange to his brush. So he just...