Mark Gibson at Mountain Trails Gallery

Montana artist Mark Gibson is returning to Jackson this week for his annual show at Mountain Trails.

Visions of mountain trails

Some shows are so good that galleries keep bringing them back every year.

That’s the case with Mark Gibson, a Montana painter best known for his paintings of tipis. According to Mountain Trails Gallery owner Adam Warner, Gibson is such a fan favorite that his show has become an annual affair.

Primarily featuring tipis and landscapes, Gibson’s work falls safely within the Western and Native American canons. But his clean, sleek approach to orthodox subject matter allows his paintings to straddle the line between traditional and contemporary.

“I once saw one of his tipi paintings in an office building in New York City surrounded by more contemporary pieces, and it worked,” Warner said.

He applauded the artist’s ability to appeal to a wide range of collectors through a balancing act. Gibson’s secret to striking that accord may lie in his backgrounds in architecture and plein air painting.

Gibson was introduced to plein air painting years ago through a workshop with Jim Wilcox. While he doesn’t paint outdoors anymore — he said it’s hard to differentiate yourself when you’re trying to capture fleeting moments in the field — he still relies on his plein air experience to to achieve mood, color and light.

Architecture is highly functional, and plein air painting is highly emotive. The melding of those two sensibilities comes across in Gibson’s work in a way that is both polished and warm.

“I’m just trying to capture the mood,” he said. “I think that if the viewer can look at it and it creates a mood, people enjoy that, and I do too. My No. 2 rules are light and atmosphere.”

Though Gibson’s shows have become a mainstay of Mountain Trails’ summer calendar, Gibson admitted that he experienced his first major bout of artist’s block this year.

“Obviously you have to keep producing work, so I was mentally trying to just work through it,” he said. “I found a huge sense of relief when I started putting some stuff together.”

Luckily, Gibson was able to push through the obstacle to bring nine new paintings with him from Montana. The main statement piece of the show is a large painting of Mount Moran as viewed from Oxbow Bend during the fall.

Gibson will be hanging out in the gallery all day Wednesday and from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday during the Art Walk.

Visit for information.

Another caldera

You’ve probably heard of the Yellowstone Caldera. But have you heard of the Seattle funk band Polyrhythmics?

The band’s last album, “Caldera,” was released in 2017. Since then, the Polyrhythmics have been relentlessly touring the country, playing music from that album and getting their feet under a few new songs.

“We’ve written a lot of other music, that we’ve really haven’t really played live yet,” Ben Bloom, the band’s guitarist, told the News&Guide in January.

This week the band is dropping by Concerts on the Commons to play its second local show this year. The free show is set to kick off at 5 p.m. Sunday on the Teton Village Commons.

Go online to for information.

A little more music

If a seven-part funk band isn’t quite enough for you, you have a few other opportunities to catch some music. Here’s a quick schedule. Don’t miss out. Rock on.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday — Freda Felcher at the Summer Concert Series to Save the Block. Free. The Genevieve Block, 155 E. Broadway.

6 to 10 p.m. Thursday — Remember Jones with the Casey Jack Kristofferson Band. Music on Main, Victor, Idaho. Free.

So embarrassing

Teton County Library’s Cabin Fever Story Slam series is back for it’s now-annual open-air tale-telling event. It’s kind of like plein air painting, but for stories.

Raconteurs can show up, drop their names in a bucket and tell a story about the theme “embarrassed.”

Take that as you will.

The Story Slam is free and is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Mike Yokel Jr. Park. For information visit and search “Story Slam.”

Wyoming fried

We could all use a little more fried chicken in our lives and the Wilson Volunteer Firefighters Association is set to provide.

The firefighters’ 52nd annual chicken fry is coming up this Sunday, when it is set to run from noon to 6 p.m. at the Wilson Fire Department. Meals cost $12 and can be purchased day-of or ahead of time at Firehouse 6 on Moose-Wilson Road.

Proceeds will benefit the firefighters. For information call 733-9869.

— Julie Kukral and Billy Arnold


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