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

Danielle SeeWalker and Carlotta Cardana...
Danielle SeeWalker and Carlotta Cardana share contemporary photos of Native America

Walking the Red Road. Living life with purpose, in good relation, on a path to positive change. The expression can be heard around Indian Country. Artists Danielle SeeWalker (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota) and Carlotta Cardana founded the Red Road Project in 2013, committed to documenting the stories and teachings of contemporary Native people enacting positive change and celebrating...

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After decades of collecting Western and wildlife art, Tom and Mary James opened the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    It’s every collector’s fantasy. An unlimited budget for unrestrained art purchases. The word “browsing” doesn’t apply to you. When you enter a gallery, you’re shopping. That fantasy was a reality for Tom and Mary James. The result, after decades of collecting Western and wildlife art which began in the mid-1980s, is the breathtaking James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg, Florida. Don’t let the location fool you. While palm trees, humidity and sailboats welcome visitors outside, inside, the James’ art collection transports guests out where the buffalo roam – or used to. What is a...

Howard Post Small Works Show...
Howard Post brings new small works to a show at Medicine Man Gallery on September 15

    By Michael Clawson Read more Essential West here   At the Masters of the American West exhibition in February, the Autry Museum of the American West presented a discussion that focused on the “New West” that seemed to mostly address work that had been created in the last decade. Outside the theater after the event, painter Howard Post had a chuckle: “They’ve been calling it the New West for 50 years,” he said. “Is it really new anymore?”   Post was making a playful joke, but he had a point. Mostly that contemporary, forward-thinking Western painters had been around before,...

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Western artists from around the country respond to the pandemic and their changing routines

By Michael Clawson Read more Essential West here   Aside from the tremendous loss of life and the slowed economy, the pandemic is also changing the way people live and work. While many people have to adjust to this new normal, many artists are responding with the same answer: “Not much has changed.” Artists are often isolated creatures, working in relative solitude within their studios. It’s quite normal for them to disappear in the morning and return in the late evening largely unfazed by the outside world. We reached out to some artists and asked them how things are different, and how...

Mark Sublette Releases his 8th...
Mark Sublette returns with The Candy Man, his eighth Charles Bloom murder mystery book

By Michael Clawson Read more Essential West here   Medicine Man Gallery owner Mark Sublette has many interests: Western and Native American art, the Southwest, old trading posts in Navajoland, Santa Fe and its vibrant culture, murder mysteries, and history in all its forms. These interests all intersect in his book series, A Charles Bloom Murder Mystery. The newest entry, The Candy Man, will be released October 1, and in it Sublette once again brings all sorts of Southwestern elements into a story of intrigue, art, thrills, and murder.  The new book again follows Charles Bloom, an art dealer whose own curiosity...

Art Dealer Diaries goes virtual...
Art Dealer Diaries goes virtual with new episodes featuring key figures from the art world 

By Michael Clawson Read more Essential West here   At 120 episodes and counting, Mark Sublette’s Art Dealer Diaries podcast has featured every facet of the art world, from prominent collectors and museum curators to magazine publishers and auctioneers. And, of course, dozens of dozens of artists from many mediums and disciplines. His list of guests paints an amazing picture of the art world, but for the podcast host, the picture is still incomplete.   “I learn something different every single time. That’s the beauty of it,” says Sublette, the owner of Medicine Man Gallery in Tucson, Arizona. “After each episode, I...

Santa Fe Galleries Forge Ahead...
Santa Fe Galleries Forge Ahead Despite Lack of Tourism, Indian Market

    Interstate travel during the COVID-19 pandemic has become an indecipherable mosaic of state-issued mandates, suggestions, advisories, exceptions, penalties, and data sets related to incoming visitors’ need to quarantine, the guidelines often changing daily. In New Mexico, the rules are strict and clear: all persons visiting the state for any reason must self-isolate or self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. One reason for the severity, New Mexico has both the fourth-highest number of Indigenous people living within its borders and the fourth-highest percentage of Indigenous people counted among its total population. The largest American Indian territory, the Navajo Nation,...

Jay Laber's Reborn Rez Wrecks...
Jay Laber’s ‘Reborn Rez Wrecks’ turns junk cars beautiful at the Missoula Art Museum

  Jay Laber "Sentinel 2" | Mixed Media Found Objects | Photo Credit: Missoula Art Museum In June of 1964, floods ravaged the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana killing 31 people. It has been called the state’s worst natural disaster. The flooding swept Jay Laber and his family all the way to New Hampshire where they relocated after losing everything to the water.   Laber was 3-years-old at the time.   When he returned to Montana in the 1990s, among the first pieces of sculpture he created utilized rusted parts pulled off cars destroyed by the flooding and left to rot over...

SWAIA Virtual Indian Market
Nearly two weeks in, SWAIA’s Virtual Market is already pointing to an exciting new future

By Michael Clawson   On April 15, still early in the pandemic and four months away from Santa Fe Indian Market, Kim Peone (Colville/Eastern Cherokee) was named SWAIA’s executive director. The phrase “baptism by fire” was invented for just these occasions.   “Less so for me, but it was definitely a baptism by fire for my staff and the board,” Peone recalls of those early days. “Almost immediately after walking in we were all supporting this massive pivot for the future of the market. We were questioning what it could mean for us, and trying to find a vision through it...

Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum and...
Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum wasn’t designed for a Covid-19 era visitor experience, but it feels that way

    Clyfford Still "PH-77, 1936" | Photo Credit: Chadd Scott   Large, sunlit rooms welcome scant visitors, all of whom are required to purchase timed entry tickets. Spacious, sparse galleries are limited to a handful of guests at any one time. Still’s artwork, as well, seems perfectly suited for the pandemic. Iconic examples of his massive abstract paintings from the 1940s and 50s invite responses of calm and hope from visitors with a world full of tragedies raging just outside. Still became one of the most well-known Abstract Expressionist painters in the post-war era thanks to these enormous paintings...

SWAIA Fashion Show
The SWAIA fashion show returns in a modified form for Santa Fe Virtual Market

By Michael Clawson Read more Essential West here   The hugely popular fashion component to this year’s SWAIA Virtual Market is now ongoing at market.swaia.org. Like the market itself, the fashion show will be held entirely online with new collections from different designers dropping daily. The week-long event culminates in the debut of a new film that shows the work of Navajo designer Orlando Dugi.   “It’s definitely not as stressful as a normal fashion show, but I’ve been working on these nine pieces for six or seven months so there’s still lots to do,” Dugi says of the new...