Festivalgoers have a chance to catch a diverse group of artists at work at Rare Gallery.

“We try to offer introductions to each artist so people get a deeper understanding about what the art is,” curator Rick Armstrong said.

The artists featured at Rare Gallery for this year’s Fall Arts Festival promise to deliver a fresh and contemporary take on Western elements. The artists at Rare are unique.

“That’s what we look for as a gallery, is nontypical, non-cliche,” Armstrong said. “We try very hard not to have things that are expected. There’s always another layer behind the work.”

On Sunday, Sept. 8, from noon to 3 p.m., gallery visitors can catch interpretive wood carver Dan Burgette working on his latest piece.

Drawing on his experience as a climbing ranger in Grand Teton National Park, Burgette has made a specialty of carving birds. He brings their flight to life in wood, metal and rock.

At an event Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 3 to 5 p.m., gallery visitors can get know the featured artists as they divulge the ins and outs of their creative processes and “explore the value of colors, emotions, shapes and space.”

Mixed-media artist Kivie will be in-house at Rare Gallery on Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. to introduce festivalgoers to a special exhibit documenting lunar processes.

Kivie’s conceptual art draws on the Western landscape but probes deeper. The pieces “get a little wild, and they ask questions,” Armstrong said.

“They’re really about letting your imagination kind of take you places,” he said. “It’s about that whole body of going places and going to the mountains and going into your mind.”

Contemporary artist John Bell’s work is modern and abstracted, sometimes questioning the art world as a whole.

Bell will join contemporary landscape artist Janell James for an afternoon of conversation about “cutting-edge art” Friday, Sept. 13, from 1 to 5 p.m.

“They’re both highly regarded, pushing envelopes,” Armstrong said.

As a perfectionist, realist illustrator David Riley crafts exquisite paintings of wildlife and other subjects.

“Then, at the end, he destroys them,” Armstrong said. “He lets loose areas of the painting through a chemical process. It’s about him letting go.”

Riley will share these techniques with visitors to Rare Gallery on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 11 to 3 p.m.

Armstrong’s own photography will also be featured during the Fall Arts Festival.

“My work is typically taking a different vision of things we’ve seen often,” Armstrong said.

An example might be taking a bison in a field as a subject and moving the camera around and overexposing to create something new.

Armstrong said he is constantly searching for new and exciting artists for Rare.

“We’re very selective about what we bring in,” he said. “I try to connect that museum-level art with things people can take home with them, that will also fit in their homes.”

The collection is always evolving and seeks to bring modern relevance to the Western art scene.

“I’m really about work that is either done in a different way or done with a story, but there’s always something that takes it to the next level,” Armstrong said. 

Contact Allie Gross at fallarts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Allie Gross covers Teton County government. Originally from the Chicago area, she joined the News&Guide in 2017 after studying politics and Spanish at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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