Local artist Borbay finds his true home in the Tetons

10 Sep 2022

Summer 2022

Written By: Jason Borbet | Images: Courtesy Jason Borbet

When Erin and I decided to get married and have kids, I was all in — with one caveat: “You’re going to have to drag my cold, dead corpse out of Manhattan.”

So, imagine Erin’s surprise when, following a three-month stint in Teton Village, I proposed we move to Victor, Idaho (population 2,088 at the time). After packing our belongings in a 26-foot U-Haul, I moved ahead of Erin and the girls, Coraline and Vega, with our SUV in tow. I’ll never forget strolling into Victor Valley Market for the first time. I snagged the ingredients for pasta and meat sauce (a staple), along with the Teton Valley News. I flipped to the police blotter and item No. 1 read, “The traffic light is out.” I photographed this little tidbit and sent it to my friends back in New York. They didn’t understand what it meant. I do. Victor — Teton Valley — is our home. It’s more than a community, it’s a family. Immediately upon arrival, the Borbet family (my given last name) expanded by one with the arrival of our son, Esser. Over the years, we’ve met lifelong friends and joined nonprofit boards. I started playing beer-league hockey for Legacy Classic Trucks at Teton Valley Foundation’s Kotler Arena (Ari Kotler’s gift to us all — a fantastic guy and player). Through it all, I continued my work as an artist under the name Borbay. In January, Erin suggested I finally open a space in town, and so, Borbay Studios & Gallery was born. Being here, in this valley, is right on a cellular level. You could blindfold me and drive me across the country and I could feel Teton Valley (that said, please don’t). When former mayor Zach Smith and Jeff Potter, the mayor at the time, suggested I create a mural on the Music on Main stage at Victor City Park, I was blown away. This 264-square-foot work of art is my visual love letter to each person who has welcomed us with open arms, minds, and hearts. The mural is a tremendous source of pride for me. I’m a man of many words (all can attest), but the love we’ve received here has humbled me greatly. All I can say is, thank you. Thank you for allowing us to be one of you — it’s an honor to our entire family. With love and gratitude, Borbay
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