The Bottle Rocket Gallery in Fayetteville opened Sept. 20 after raising $6,000 through Kickstarter.
Curator and local artist Sarah Leflar said the gallery represents a recent trend in the art world of “house galleries,” in which artists use residential space to display their work or the work of others.
The funds raised through Kickstarter will be used for visiting artists’ travel and installation stipends
The inspiration for Bottle Rocket came when Leflar and her husband, Robert B. Leflar, a professor at the University of Arkansas, finished restoring a 300-SF house built in 1926 by Ozark craftsman Robert Runyan. Leflar had intended the house to be an art studio. But, she said, “When it was finished, it was so beautiful that we decided to use it as a gallery space.”
Leflar and co-curator Kat Wilson, a local photographer whose works can be seen on her website KatWilsonArtist.com, have not yet filed for nonprofit status but do not see the gallery as a profit-making venture. House galleries, Leflar said, are about giving artists a way to show their work in a cultural environment that’s still adapting to the Internet. For local inspiration, she points to the Good Weather gallery in North Little Rock, operated out of a garage by local artist Haynes Riley.
This year, Leflar and co-curator Wilson are focused on bringing artists from outside Arkansas to Bottle Rocket.
Bottle Rocket does not have set business hours. Each showing is marked by two parties, and the dates and times of these parties are listed on the gallery’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/BottleRocketArtGallery. Outside of the parties, people interested in visiting the gallery can call to set up a viewing time. The gallery’s phone number is (479) 443-5121.