The Year of the Rabbit Takes On an Arty Twist In Houston and Dallas — Hunt Slonem Keeps It Mystical

Another Big Event at Laura Rathe's Fine Art Wonderlands

BY Caitlin Hsu and Jaelyn Williams // 02.07.23
photography Jacob Power Photography

Houston and Dallas art lovers celebrated the Year of the Rabbit at Laura Rathe Fine Art with the bunny master himself Hunt Slonem. With two opening receptions, held back-to-back nights at the Laura Rathe galleries in Houston and Dallas, the museum-collected painter anointed the Lunar New Year by introducing his newest solo exhibit, fittingly titled “Year of the Rabbit.” 

The Houston reception, held at Laura Rathe’s elegant gallery in River Oaks, kicked off with a highly anticipated signing of Slonem’s most recent book titled Butterflies as well as his classic Bunnies. The charismatic artist wrote a special message to autograph seekers in the frontispiece of each volume, personalizing his signature with a drawing of a bunny, butterfly, or bird.

It’s only fitting that Slonem would perceive a special connection to the Year of the Rabbit, as he himself was born under the zodiac sign in 1951. And like the Chinese zodiac, which repeats every 12 years, Slonem returns to his signature bunnies again and again in his neo-Expressionist paintings.

“I have had this feeling of affinity to the rabbit from the Chinese zodiac,” Slonem told the 400 art lovers at the River Oaks event. “It is just charming, prolific and mystical.” 

An art-informed crowd turned out at Laura Rathe Fine Art for the opening for Year of the Rabbit (Photo by Jacob Power Photography)

Slonem also spoke profoundly of his artistic process. When asked how long his canvases take to complete, the painter responded “a lifetime. Each painting is a culmination of my life’s work.”

Houston’s opening reception included light bites and libations supplied by Laura Rathe Fine Art, featuring a classic New Orleans sazerac cocktail — a reference to the city in which Slonem lives part time. 

“Year of the Rabbit” includes portraits of not only rabbits, but also Slonem’s iconic tropical birds and butterflies. There are even reframed public figures such as Lincoln and Slonem’s famous “Bunny Wall.” The artist is both a painter and a preservationist who has worked on restoring several homes in Louisiana and the northeast. 

PC Seen: Don Mafrige Jr., Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Carol and Ronald Rauch, Stacie and Scott Lalendorff, Daniel Goldberg, gemologist Dr. Elle LawsonTerri Alani who acquired a charming rabbit canvas, Jason Hall in from Palm Springs and Park City, Utah-based John Walker.

“Year of the Rabbit” will be on view at Laura Rathe Fine Art through this Saturday, February 11. Learn more here.

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