This month, the Arts Alive Gallery in Breckenridge has partnered with Far View Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation Center for an exhibition that not only features artwork with a horse theme, but will also help the rescue in their mission.
On Saturday, Sept. 12, a reception will be held for the opening of Horse Whisperer, a compilation of work from 17 local artists. From 4–8 p.m., a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to the Far View Horse Rescue.
“We periodically throughout the year choose an organization to partner with and it’s usually a nonprofit,” said Emily Wahl, an artist with the gallery. For this exhibit, “It’s all paintings about horses, ranches, trailheads, farms, anything about the life of the horse.”
One of the artists with the gallery is also a volunteer with Far View, which is how the nonprofit was chosen as this month’s beneficiary. Artists from the gallery have also painted on location at the rescue center, and Wahl said the artists wanted to help an organization that did a lot of outreach with the Summit County community.
“It really came out through mutual artists that had mutual interests,” she said.
THE RESCUE CENTER
The Far View Horse Rescue was started five years ago by founder and director Kimberly Kissmann. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit has a 40-acre ranch in Fairplay, with a smaller branch in Breckenridge, and seeks to find homes for neglected, abused and unwanted horses. Horses are brought to the farm through the sheriff’s department or from owners that can no longer care for the animals. The horses go through a rehabilitation program, where they are taught all the basics, such as haltering, trailering, grooming skills, and some riding skills. It takes most animals about a year and a half before they are ready for adoption, Kissmann said, with 80 percent of the horses needing a significant amount of training.
“Our end goal is to find homes for all of these horses,” she said.
The program relies on its volunteers to function. Kissmann said volunteers are from both Park and Summit counties, all different ages with all different backgrounds. Many volunteers are adults who have always loved horses, but never had the time or resources, and now have the opportunity to help out later in their lives. A lot of volunteers are kids, and many have no horse experience when they first start with the program.
The rescue offers clinics twice a month to educate people as to what it entails to own a horse, as Kissmann feels this is an important function of the rescue center.
“Horses are a huge commitment, they take a lot of money, and the time commitment, people don’t realize,” she said. “That’s why our education program is so big as well.”
Clinics offered include topics such as beginning horsemanship, basic horse care, finding the right horse, healthy happy horses and more.
Open volunteer hours are on Fridays and Saturdays. During those hours, volunteers feed, clean, do barn chores and get to work with the horses.
The rescue center has also received a lot of support from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Keystone Science Center. This summer, the Boy Scouts helped fix an arena and build an obstacle course.
“The Boy Scouts have been a huge help at our organization,” Kissmann said.
Far View will also take one wild mustang a year from a holding facility in Canyon City that houses around 3,000 to 4,000 mustangs that have been rounded up.
“We really try to educate people on the whole mustang plight,” she said. “They are very hard to train the older they get. … After 2 it’s harder and harder.”
The Horse Whisperer exhibit will run until Oct. 30, although a portion of proceeds will only go to Far View during Saturday’s reception. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the rescue center, go to its website at farviewhorserescue.com. The Arts Alive Gallery is a co-op run by about 40 local artists, featuring paintings, jewelry, metal art, quilting, sculpturing and more. The second exhibition that will be available for viewing this month is a show titled “Branches — Connections in Art,” featuring the work of Jon Hans and Deborah Young. The gallery is open seven days a week.