Bryce Pettit grew up in awe of the wonders of nature and to this day maintains a deep connection with the natural world. From a young age, he spent copious amounts of time outdoors and became captivated not only by his surroundings but also the wildlife he’d encounter exploring different landscapes. The pull he felt to be outdoors was the main reason he later studied biology and ecology in college.
But all the while, Bryce also had a passion for art. Eventually, he realized he could bring these worlds together and dedicated his career to being a full-time artist.
“I have done art my entire life,” Bryce says. “I cannot remember a time in which I wasn’t painting or drawing or doing some sort of art. It’s just a continuous thread that goes back as long as I have memories.”
Bryce always found great joy working with his hands, and began experimenting with sculpture in his early twenties. It was a natural extension of his background in science and innate curiosity for wildlife that inspired his subject matter.
“The reason I use animals in my artwork is because I feel like it’s a great way to tell any story,” Bryce says. “Sometimes if you use the human figure as the subject for material, you have all this social baggage around that subject material. To me, animals are the perfect subject that you can tell any story, that you can express any emotion, and have it be the perfect metaphor for our human connection.”
Bryce’s studio, filled with rabbits, butterflies and foxes, has been a staple of the Celebration of Fine Art over the last 17 years he’s been a part of the show. Every year, patrons continue to be drawn to Bryce’s ability to uncover insights about the natural world and remark over the warmth and familiarity his sculptures convey. These connections made between art lovers and artist is among what Bryce relishes as a participant of the show.
“It provides a way to interact with patrons of the arts in a completely new and unique way,” Bryce says. “I travel all over the country and all over the world showing my artwork but very few venues offer me the opportunity to really meet people and allow them to see me working.”
See more of Bryce’s story below: