D George Prisbe-Przybysz

 

D George Prisbe is a visual artist who draws inspiration exclusively from the South Dakota landscape.  A native of the state, he grew up on the wide-open prairie of the James River valley.  He now lives and works under the protective blanket of the Black Hills.

 

The imagery for his works is gathered during treks throughout this vast and diverse state, as he pursues his life ambition to drive every mapped road in South Dakota.  His paintings of the prairie, rivers, hills, and sky combine the broad sweep of the landscape with the often overlooked details of nature bringing the viewer closer to the complexity and subtle grandeur of our state.  A proud subscriber to the American Landscape Tradition, his hope is to inspire a greater appreciation of South Dakota.

 

"Wherever you are born, your birthplace offers more beauty than you will ever be able to paint during your whole life" - Rembrandt.

 

His interest in the landscape began while the artist was in graduate school.  One day he received a post card from South Dakota, bearing the image of a Harvey Dunn painting.  Instantly, he was filled with longing and a new appreciation for his homeland.  Prior to this, he had been actively trying to distance himself from the “mid-western esthetic” that his professors had labeled him with.  Now, Prisbe has learned the futility of ignoring a seed so well rooted in his consciousness.

 

Recently, Prisbe was visited by the spirit of Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, long a personal hero.   Corot and the Barbizon’s had a strong influence on many American painters, notably George Inness, John Twachtman, Charles Warren Eaton, Henry Ward Ranger, and J Alden Wier.  These artists and others, brought to popularity a minor artistic movement called tonalism (circa 1880 -1920).  Prisbe has been attempting to absorb the sensibilities of the tonalists, developing a series which he calls Dakota Tonalism.  These works meld many of the characteristics of tonalism, intimate, moody and soft edges scenes, with those of boy raised on the flatlands of South Dakota – an influence too powerful to ignore.    Concurrently, Prisbe has been working on another series of paintings addressing views of Bear Butte – a sacred site for many Plains Indian tribes.

 

Prisbe received his professional training as an undergraduate at Northern State University in Aberdeen and as a graduate student specializing in painting and printmaking at Ohio University at Athens.  

 

He was an original member of the South Dakota Arts Council’s Artists-in-the-Schools program, conducting many residencies throughout the state.  His teaching experience encompasses every level of contact, from grade school to high school to college to community education, and even working with the correctional facilities – all in the name of giving back, for the pleasures and rewards of art, that Prisbe has experienced.

 

Over the years Prisbe’s work has been recognized by the South Dakota Arts Council on several occasions through its fellowship grant program.  His works are in many public and private art collections.

 

His studio is located at Hanna in the Northern Black Hills, where he works in the mediums of oil, acrylic, watercolor, and etching.  When not in his studio or driving some isolated back road, George spends his time with his incredible and supportive wife Pat, and pursuing his other passions of reading, gardening, hiking, mountain biking, birding, and playing with his dogs.