Written By Tibby Plasse


With 80 pieces of art on exhibit by 20 different artists, the 19th Annual Fête at Diehl Gallery is a big deal.


From sculptors to surrealists, the annual large group show is a hallmark event for the summer art scene. For Isabel McDowall, operations director at the gallery, a large show also means there’s a piece to match the aesthetics of any art lover.


“Large, eye-catching works are wonderful at drawing people’s attention, which opens the door to the possibility of discovering new artists,” she said. “Perhaps people will discover a new artist or be pleasantly surprised by how a familiar artist is pushing their boundaries.”


This year’s fête features all new works from the gallery’s roster, but there are also new artists on that list, too.

“Newest to Diehl Gallery is acclaimed surrealist Daniel Adel, and we’ll be debuting his work at the fête,” said Chad Repinski, gallery director. “He’s considered a hyper-abstractionist, combining contemporary subject matter with pre-modern painting style.”


Adel’s background surprisingly comes from portraiture. His work is part of the National Portrait Gallery, and he’s graced the covers of Time, Newsweek and the New York Times Magazine.


But beginning in 2015, Adel began his Resonance Cycle of paintings — the first hyper-abstract paintings — which combine figurative techniques with gestural abstraction to transform flat strokes into three-dimensional forms suspended in space, light and shade. Several of these hyper-abstract pieces will be in this year’s fête.

Two of the gallery sculptors, Matt Devine and Kate Hunt, offer the perspective of contemporary art as an exploration of materials, McDowall said.


“Devine’s wall-mounted steel ‘Heart of Gold’ appears lighter than air, whereas Hunt’s ‘San Miguel Torrington’ converts everyday materials into sophisticated forms,” she said. “Comparing both artists highlights their drastically different transformative abilities in their chosen materials.”


Transformative and transcendent, there are many themes running through this year’s group show that address color, form and nature. But those dominant themes are not where the sidewalk ends.


“While those classic themes are apparent, there are also modes of deconstruction/reconstruction,” Repinksi said.

Anastasia Kimmett paints abstracts on paper that she then cuts in small strips, and recomposes into a final piece. Claire Brewster hand-cuts vintage maps that then take on a wholly different form as birds. Juan Carlos Collada uses shed feathers — the organic definition of deconstruction according to the gallery director — and paints them into new, seemingly living kaleidoscopes of butterflies that appear on the wall as large bright mandalas and vignettes.


The 80 contemporary pieces demonstrate the many mediums the gallery enjoys bringing to Jackson, from the classic oil on canvas and acrylic on board. The fête also features oil on aluminum, oil on mylar, hand-cut antique maps, hand-painted feathers, platinum, gold and silver leaf, newspaper, encaustic, bronze, aluminum and steel.

“In sum, close to 20 different mediums will grace our walls and challenge viewers to consider the multitude of ways in which fine art can manifest,” Repinski said.

Other artists featured in the show are Jim Budish, Ted Gall, Sarah Hillock, Susan Goldsmith, Peter Hoffer, Takefumi Hori, Jeremy Houghton, Kate Hunt, Chris Reilly, Robert Mars, Hunt Slonem, Jason Rohlf, Chris Reilly, Les Thomas, John Simms, Marshall Noice and Douglas Schneider.


The fête’s opening reception will take place from 5-8 p.m. Saturday. The evening kicks off with entertainment by Chanman Jazz featuring Rachel Gray Bundy on trumpet. Each year, Diehl Gallery pairs a nonprofit with the show. A portion of the sales from the 19th Annual Fête will go to benefit the Grand Teton Music Festival.

Douglas Schneider, 100 Proof, Oil on Canvas, 40" x 30"

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