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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Award-winning Earl Biss documentary released on streaming platforms

  Earl Biss, 'Four Chiefs, a Dog and a Boy,' (1983). Oil on canvas, 60 x 84 | Photo Courtesy Chadd Scott   My favorite artist is Earl Biss. Number two, Vincent van Gogh. When I say Earl Biss is my favorite artist, I’m not grading on a scale. I don’t mean my favorite American painter or Native American artist; I mean my favorite artist. Looking at his paintings – and this happened from the very first instance I ever saw one – I felt a spiritual connection to them, and him, unlike anything before or since. That first time...

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See Julian Onderdonk's Texas bluebonnet paintings at San Antonio Museum of Art

  Julian Onderdonk, Near San Antonio (1918) detail. San Antonio Museum of Art. Photo by Chadd Scott   The bluebonnet paintings of Julian Onderdonk have always captivated me. Something of a dream, they are. I began visiting the Texas Hill Country where Onderdonk lived and painted in the 1980s. My maternal grandparents retired to Lago Vista, TX on Lake Travis outside of Austin, and family trips regularly took me there. This was long before I had an interest in art or knew who Onderdonk was. But I knew well who Julian Onderdonk was on a March 2023 visit to San...

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Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco publish new catalogue of Native American art

  Ancestral Hopi artist, Sikyatki, Jar, ca. 1450–1500. Earthenware and pigment, 20.5 x 40.5 x 40.5 cm. Gift of the Thomas W. Weisel Family to FAMSF, 2013.76.140. Photograph by Randy Dodson, copyright FAMSF   Not everything is meant to be seen. Even artwork. Even when it’s in a museum. Consider the Mimbres bowls and ancestral pottery – predating 1600 – in the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. In its catalogue “Native American Art from the Thomas W. Weisel Family Collection,” published in April of 2023, numerous items are entirely obscured by a matrix of gold dots...

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'Migrant Mother' and more, Dorothea Lange photographs at Eiteljorg Museum

  Dorothea Lange, Resettlement Administration photographer, in California, 1936. Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)   Consider it the Mona Lisa of photography. Perhaps not the greatest picture ever taken – although undeniably powerful – but the most recognizable. Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother has appeared in countless textbooks and on a U.S. postage stamp. No one recalls where they first saw the picture, it seems programmed into the factory settings of the American mental image vault. Taken in 1936 at a migrant-worker camp in Nipomo, CA, the image distilled human suffering on a national scale...

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Après-ski with art in Breckenridge, CO

  Exterior of Portfolio Gallery in Breckenridge, CO | Photo by Chadd Scott   The Breckenridge, CO gallery scene has yet to recover from the closure of Breckenridge Fine Art in 2016. Owner Jim Tylich had galleries throughout the mountain towns across the West for decades before consolidating the business into a non-descript industrial plaza in Edwards, CO serving mostly existing collectors on an appointment basis. Breckenridge Fine Art gallery was the spark which lit my passion for art. Immediately upon entering, despite having zero background in art, I knew something was different. The paintings better, somehow – that was...

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Second Annual Mvskoke Art Market Taking Place in Tulsa April 22-23

  George Alexander (Mvskoke) standing next to his piece ‘Don't Call My Name’ at the 2022 Mvskoke Art Market | Photo Credit Darren DeLaune, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Office of Communications.   The second annual Mvskoke Art Market takes place April 22 and 23 at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Mvskoke” is the traditional spelling of Muscogee, both are pronounced the same. The event opens at 10AM each day running through 5PM with free admission. Eighty-two Native American artists will be featured, up from 60 a year ago, selected from more than 100 applicants. Enrollment in a federally...

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'California Stars' on view at Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe

   James Luna (Luiseño, Puyukitchum, Ipai, and Mexican; 1950–2018) used his body in performances, installations, and photographs to question the fetishization, museological display, and commodification of Native Americans. Luna’s Take a Picture with a Real Indian, first presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1991, was his most interactive work. Individuals originally posed with Luna himself or with three life-size cutouts of the artist, two wearing varieties of traditional Native dress and the third in chinos and a polo shirt. Luna reprised the performance artwork in 2001 in Salina, Kansas, and in 2010 on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, formerly...

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Kim Wiggins' western vision stands out at Briscoe Museum in San Antonio

    Once you see a Kim Wiggins (b. 1959/1960; Roswell, N.M.) painting, you’ll never mistake one for anyone else. Their radiating lines and near iridescent colors recall tropical bird wings. His pictures tell Western stories in a relatable, representational, graphic style. Four Wiggins paintings on view at the Briscoe Western Art Museum highlighted my March 2023 visit to San Antonio; I will focus on three of them.   Kim Wiggins, Fiesta Day on the Plaza, 2003. Oil on canvas. Briscoe Museum of Western Art   Fiesta Day on the Plaza (2003) Wiggins’ vision of a bustling Santa Fe Plaza...

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Isabella Stewart Gardner's unsettling photographs from 19th Century New Mexico

    What do your travels say about you? What about your travel albums? Remember those? Physical scrap books produced following trips in the days before everyone possessed hundreds of photos of even the most mundane experiences on their phones. Both reveal a great deal about Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840–1924), namesake of the Boston art museum converted from her one-time mansion. The simple legacy is what her travels tell us. Between 1867 and 1895, Gardner and her husband traveled the world extensively. Both were born into fabulous wealth and privilege. Though this status enabled them to freely cross countries and...

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Step into the ring with luchadores at Arizona State University Art Museum

  Installation view of “Lucha Libre: Beyond the Arenas,” October 2022–May 2023, Arizona State University Art Museum. Photo by Tim Trumble   Performance, photography, paintings, prints, fashion, costume design, video. An exhibition at the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe has everything you’d expect from a thoughtfully researched, multi-media art exhibition with this unique differentiator: the backdrop is lucha libre, professional wrestling in Mexico. “Lucha Libra: Beyond the Arenas,” the first exhibition of its kind, goes beyond the performance sport’s popularity in contemporary culture to reveal its ancient roots, explore its influence on socio-political movements and link its relationships...