Gibson Byrd, a lifelong artist and educator, was known for his landscape and figurative paintings. He was a master of depicting subtle and atmospheric effects.His work emphasized social realism and auto-biographical fantasy. He highlighted human isolation, and provided commentary about social injustice. He explored his Shawnee heritage and Tulsa roots. Later in life, he rendered ethereal landscapes of rural Wisconsin and costal southern California.
Best known as an oil painter, he worked in other mediums, especially gouache and pastel, and his paintings are in the collections of numerous public institutions. A Tulsa native, he was a B-17 top turret gunner in Europe during World War II and received his B.A. from the University of Tulsa. After teaching art at Tulsa’s Central High and Directing the Kalamazoo Art Center, he was an Art Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 30 years.