Far From Home, Opening April 5

Rainbow Sunday, Jessie Butner

Not all unicorns are happy. That’s according to Waynesville artist Jessie Butner. In her mixed-media piece, “Rainbow Sunday,” a menagerie of creatures — both real and imagined — fraternize in a prism of color. There are winged teddy bears, shimmering angler fish, long-necked giraffes, and a dinosaur or two. There’s also a unicorn. However, unlike most depictions, this ethereal equine has a somberness about her. She’s cute yet contemplative, says Butner. “My recent work has a happiness to it, through color and design,” she explains, “but there is a looming feeling, almost a sadness, that exudes when you look closer.” According to the artist, she uses “childlike or playful” gestures to unpack heavy topics like mental health and substance abuse. “I am interested in merging reality with imaginative scenes,” she notes. A recent graduate of Western Carolina University, Butner is presenting a solo showcase at lo-fi gallery in Sylva through May. Titled Far From Home, the exhibit features transportive work made from wax, graphite, polymer clay, and everything in between. “This body of work aims to push the boundaries of traditional art by combining different mediums and techniques to create unique and visually intriguing pieces,” she says. “I hope to encourage people to delve deeper into the story or message to feel an emotional connection, whatever it may be.”

Far From Home: April 5-May 3; Opening Reception: Friday, April 5, 5-8pm

lo-fi gallery at LivLab / 503 Mill St., Sylva / artisticverve.com

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