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...

11 Must-see paintings at Booth...
11 Must-see paintings at Booth Western Art Museum

      Installation view of Maynard Dixon 'Red Butte with Mountain Men' flanked by Jim Vogel paintings at Booth Western Art Museum | Photo by Chadd Scott   With the largest exhibition space in the world for Western art, the Booth Western Art Museum 40 miles north of Atlanta in Cartersville, GA has hundreds of artworks on view at any one time. Most of the genre’s legendary figures are represented: Bierstadt, Moran, Remington, Russell, Dixon. The Booth’s permanent collection, however, primarily focuses on contemporary Western Art, post-1965, following the formation of the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa...

Rare chance to see O'Keeffe...
Rare chance to see O'Keeffe masterpiece at Harwood Museum of Art in Taos

    Georgia O'Keeffe 'The Lawrence Tree' | Courtesy Harwood Museum of Art   A rare and exciting opportunity presents visitors to the Harwood Museum in Taos through January 28, 2024, as Georgia O’Keeffe’s The Lawrence Tree, painted just outside the city, will be on view as part of the museum’s centennial celebration. O’Keeffe kept the masterpiece in her personal collection until selling it to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT at age 94 in 1981. The unusual picture with the ground-up, “worm’s eye view” perspective hasn’t been in New Mexico since. The tree is named after English writer and philosopher...

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What makes Bror Nordfeldt’s Summer Dusk (Solitude) a masterpiece

  Bror Nordfeldt "Summer Dusk (Solitude)" c. 1920 | Photo by Chadd Scott   Those of us who love the West and Western art, but live “out East,” are often left eating our hearts out at Instagram posts of Sonoran sunsets or stories online detailing the latest museum exhibition 2,000 miles away for beloved artists. I say “our” because I live just outside of Jacksonville, FL. I make it “out West” a few times a year, always looking forward to my next visit. Imagine my surprise then upon entering “American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection” at the...

Shelburne Museum launching new Native...
Shelburne Museum launching new Native American initiative

  Artist formerly known [Tsitsistas/Suhtai (Cheyenne)], Beaded Pannier, ca. 1880. Collection of Shelburne Museum, gift of Ogden M. Pleissner.1961-182.36.1.   As 2022 rolled into 2023, the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT had exactly zero Native American items on view. The museum has possessed Native American artwork since its founding in 1947, but took all holdings off view roughly 15 years ago, rightly uncomfortable with its inability to appropriately display the material without a better understanding of it and its context. In a swift and stunning course correction prone to deliver the museological equivalent of whiplash, the museum has since made...

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Terran Last Gun: Contemporary spin on ancient tradition

  Terran Last Gun, 'Future Cosmic Energy.' 16x45 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Missoula Art Museum   What do you see when looking at Terran Last Gun’s geometric abstraction ledger drawings? Do you see Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly? Hard Edge painting from the 1960s? Something else? Last Gun’s works prove an art appreciation Rorschach test. Different people will see different things, and what you see will reveal your background even more than the artist’s. “What I’m doing is not pulling from any European art history at all, it's from these painted lodges that we’ve been creating for thousands...

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What can Artificial Intelligence tell you about Western Art?

  Kim Wiggins, Fiesta Day on the Plaza, 2003. Oil on canvas. Briscoe Museum of Western Art | Photo by Chadd Scott   What does artificial intelligence think of Western art? I asked. ChatGPT from Openai.com is the most widely used ask-and-answer artificial intelligence tool available online. It’s free to use with signup which requires an email address and phone number. I started by prompting ChatGPT to tell me, “what is Western art?” Not surprisingly, it responded with a history of art from Western Civilization beginning with ancient Greece and Rome. I modified my request to specify “Western American art.”...

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Ben Aleck sharing his Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe heritage at Nevada Museum of Art

  Ben Aleck, Kwe'naa'a (eagle), circa 2010, acrylic on canvas, 6 x 10 feet. Collection of the Reno Sparks   Geometry and eagles seemingly have nothing in common. To members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (Kooyooe Tukadu/cui-ui fish eaters) like artist Ben Aleck, however, they have everything in common which is why both themes repeat throughout his work. “The geometrics come from the beadwork and basket designs of the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe and Great Basin tribes,” Aleck explains. Pyramid Lake is located forty miles northwest of Reno within the boundaries of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation along Nevada’s...

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San Antonio offers an introduction to artist Jesse Treviño

  Jesse Treviño, Señora Dolores Treviño (1983). Acrylic on canvas. 53.5 x 85.5 in. Collection of the San Antonio Museum of Art| Photo by Chadd Scott   “Locally famous” isn’t quite the oxymoron of “jumbo shrimp” or “organized chaos,” but when it comes to art, I always wonder what circumstances prevented “locally famous” artists from becoming just “famous” artists. I was pondering this again following a spring 2023 visit to San Antonio and introduction to “locally famous” artist Jesse Treviño (1946-2023). Jesse Treviño’s artwork is everywhere in San Antonio. A painting of his mother hangs prominently in the San Antonio...

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Georgia O'Keeffe highlights Western artists at Art Institute of Chicago

  Georgia O'Keeffe, Sky Above Clouds IV (1965) at the Art Institute of Chicago | Photo by Chadd Scott   On any short list of the best art museums in the United States, you will find the Art Institute of Chicago. No museum in the world has more instantly recognizable paintings: Nighthawks, American Gothic, Monet’s haystacks, Van Gogh’s bedroom, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. The best of the best. Only. The museum divides its permanent collection galleries into roughly 20 broad categories – Arts of Africa, Arts of China, Japan and Korea, Arms and Armor, Prints and Drawings, Impressionism,...

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Norman Tait totem returning to view at Heard Museum thanks to conservation grant

  Norman Tait painting Friendship Totem in 1977 | Courtesy the Heard Museum   Each year, hundreds of cultural institutions from around the world vie for Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project grants hoping to secure funding for priority preservation needs on objects under their care. For 2023, 23 recipients representing a diverse range of artistic styles, media and cultural traditions across China, Colombia, France, Lebanon, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. have been selected. Among them, the Heard Museum in Phoenix. Norman Tait’s (Nisga’a Nations, 1941-2016) Friendship Totem (1977) will be the beneficiary, with the...