Prepare to be enchanted as Miami Art Week opens with a dazzling celebration of art and imagination at “Bunnies & Beyond,” a captivating tribute hosted by Manolis Projects Gallery. As an official partner of Miami Art Week, Manolis Projects Gallery is committed to expanding access to artistic experiences and promoting creativity within our community. This year, 2023, holds particular significance as it aligns with the Chinese Zodiac’s “Year of the Rabbit.”
In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with an animal sign, and the Rabbit symbolizes peace, creativity, and compassion. Those born in the Year of the Rabbit are believed to possess gentle and amiable personalities, often embodying artistic sensibilities and a deep appreciation for beauty and harmony.
Renowned artist Hunt Slonem, celebrated globally for his iconic bunny artworks, shares a profound connection with this theme. His artistic journey as an American colorist and figurative painter has been marked by an enduring fascination with tropical birds, inspired by his personal aviary, and a deep affection for rabbits. Beyond their symbolic relevance, Slonem admires these creatures for their inherent dynamism and independence, once remarking that “they can hold a pose without moving for hours, and then suddenly dart away as if propelled by a coiled spring.”
Interestingly, the genesis of his iconic bunnies occurred during a meal at a Chinese restaurant while savoring a spring roll. It was there that he discovered that his birth year, 1951, had been designated as the Year of the Rabbit. His iconic bunnies began as warm-up exercises, following the tradition of Hans Hofmann, who used to commence his creative day with a series of small paintings to awaken his artistic spirit. As Slonem puts it, “He painted abstractions. I paint rabbits.”
Manolis Projects Gallery proudly showcases a significant collection of Slonem’s earlier works (1972-1987), exploring humanity’s connection with nature and spirituality. This year, the gallery introduces the latest Hunt Slonem Collection sculptures, to be unveiled during the opening event.
Hunt Slonem’s remarkable artistic journey encompasses over 300 one-man shows in galleries and museums worldwide. His work is featured in the permanent collections of more than 250 museums, including prestigious institutions such as the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney.
As part of this tribute, Manolis Projects Gallery invited 30 artists to create their most representative works on 40 x 30-inch canvases. This unique format, championed by gallery owner and artist-in-residence J. Steven Manolis, allows viewers to appreciate artists’ techniques and styles without distractions like size and orientation.
The “Bunnies & Beyond” exhibition will be available for viewing from December 2023 through April 2024, with an opening extravaganza scheduled for Tuesday, December 5th, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. This “Bunnies & Beyond” cocktail party promises a wealth of activities, from bunny-themed raffles (participants are encouraged to bring business cards or written contact information) to whimsical masks designed by talented young artists from Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
To enhance the experience, specially curated photo spots will allow attendees to capture the perfect image in their “Most Beyond Bunnies” attire. Complementing the artistry on display, cocktails and delectable bites will be generously provided by our sponsors, ensuring a delightful gastronomic journey throughout the evening.
While street parking may be available, complimentary valet parking will be offered. Furthermore, attendees can take advantage of our partnership with Alto, allowing for discounted pre-scheduled rides to and from the gallery, ensuring a safe and convenient journey to this exceptional event.
Don’t miss your chance to be part of this spectacular celebration of art, creativity, and imagination. “Bunnies & Beyond” promises an evening that transcends the ordinary, inviting you to “bunny-hop” into a world where art knows no boundaries.
Caption Image 1:
Hunt Slonem (b.1951-), Hutch (Bunnies), 2021
Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
Caption Image 2:
Hunt Slonem (b. 1951-), Thompson, 2022
Bronze Sculpture, 21.5 x 8 x 10 inches