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Meet Gary Rainsbarger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gary Rainsbarger.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in Kansas.  My family moved to Riverside, California in 1961 and I’m still here. I’ve been involved in art all my life. I remember drawing along with Jon Gnagy’s “Learn to Draw” on TV when I was in elementary school. My efforts seemed to please adults. I used what talent I have to impress parents and teachers. Art classes were the highlight of my school days from elementary through college.  Instructors in high school and college played a huge role in my artistic development and outlook. What talent and skills I had helped me make a living as a graphic designer at the local newspaper for over 30 years. When the job ended, I was able to devote more time and energy to making art and learning about different media and techniques.

Please tell us about your art.
My efforts include drawing, painting, sculptures, automata, and installations. It’s nice if people feel something when they look at my work, whether it be laughter, disgust, wonder, shock or just “what is that supposed to mean?” But if I’m the only one who feels anything when looking at something I’ve created, that’s OK. Actually, I’m surprised when someone does respond. Many artists fail to realize how small their audience is. It’s easy to live in the bubble of the “art community” and be ignorant of the 90% of the population that doesn’t care about art. I understand. I have yet to hear a decent definition of what “art” is let alone what makes it “good” or “bad.” I’ve been in many art shows and even judged a few. I discovered that I don’t care for the idea of artists competing with other artists. One judge told me “Get a dozen different judges, and you’ll get a dozen different “winners.”

I create to please and amuse myself. The piece I am most proud of is entitled “Assault On Liberty.” It was a site-specific installation at the Riverside Art Museum exhibited in August 2014. The subject was gun violence. It incorporated life-sized figures “cast” in clear shipping tape, and painted representations of “witnesses.” My intent was to address the willingness of people to surrender freedoms in exchange for security after mass shootings.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
It would be terrifically challenging to make a living by creating art while not compromising your integrity. I’m very grateful that I am not in that situation.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work can be seen at, and my Facebook page has some from time to time. I exhibit at the Riverside Community Arts Association, San Bernardino Arts Association and sometimes at the Riverside Art Museum.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
David Coffman
Gary Rainsbarger

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