Puerto Vallarta bids a fond farewell to beloved artist and cherished soul, Marta Gilbert, who passed away peacefully on August 28th, 2023, at the age of 91. Born in Bentonville, Arkansas, Marta’s journey through life was one of profound creativity and a deep connection with indigenous cultures that resonated through her internationally renowned paintings.
Marta Gilbert was not merely an artist; she was Puerto Vallarta’s artistic heartbeat. Her canvas was a reflection of her inner world and her unbreakable bond with the indigenous people she painted. Marta, with her Osage and Cherokee heritage flowing through her veins, had an intrinsic understanding of their stories and struggles. Her brushstrokes unveiled their essence in ways that words often could not.
Drawing inspiration from the jungled mountains and the gentle embrace of ocean shores, Marta’s artistic odyssey took root in Puerto Vallarta in 1971. Her canvases became a tapestry woven with the vibrant threads of the land she called home, each stroke a testament to her commitment to bringing to life the beauty and resilience of the native communities.
The genesis of Marta’s artistic path traces back to her early years. She once recounted that her mother, recognizing her innate artistic spirit, marveled at her drawings of upside-down horses’ heads when she was a mere two years old. Despite this early indication, her journey into the world of art took a detour through the realm of music. Driven by her mother’s encouragement, she embarked on a path as a concert pianist, dedicating herself to the piano, violin, and drums until her early twenties. However, the siren call of painting remained irresistible. Her aunt, recognizing this, gifted her first set of oils at the age of eight.
Marta’s artistic legacy will endure as her wishes are honored. As the waves of Los Muertos Beach once cradled her spirit, so shall her ashes find their resting place there, a poignant tribute to the profound connection she held with the land and its people. And in the spirit of her vibrant life, a celebration of her remarkable journey shall follow, an event where her vibrant canvases and indomitable spirit will shine brightly through the stories of those who loved and admired her.
Marta Gilbert leaves behind a legacy of artistic brilliance and a tapestry of connection that will forever enrich the cultural fabric of Puerto Vallarta and beyond. In her strokes and colors, in her dreams and passions, we find a profound reminder that art is not just what we create, but how we touch lives and hearts. As we honor her memory, let us remember the way she bridged worlds through her art and the indelible mark she leaves on our souls.