Apr. 1, 2021

Sierra Slentz: Marking Time

Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art
April 19 - July 24, 2021
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is proud to present Marking Time, an exhibition of ceramic sculpture by Las Vegas artist Sierra Slentz. Every evening since the beginning of the pandemic shutdown in March 2020, Slentz has created one new 4 x 4 inch clay form in response to the thoughts and emotions that have affected her during the day. This exhibition marks the debut of the complete series of 365 forms. Installed in a grid that covers an entire wall of the Barrick Museum’s East Gallery, the ceramic sculptures come together to suggest a day-by-day visual journal measuring the rituals, discoveries, and challenges of a year shaped by COVID-19. 
Audiences who encountered Slentz’s previous sculptural “diary” in the windows of Las Vegas City Hall in late 2019 or the early months of 2020 will notice that Covid has changed her method of measuring time. Where the previous series reflected the artist’s outdoor journeys on foot, this series is characterized by her attention to the indoor life of the shutdown, a time of reflection and confinement permeated by information from the wider world filtering in through the internet. Slentz notes that her daily thoughts were often influenced by news headlines. Where the sculptures in her earlier series were often embellished with materials from the environment, such as stones and rabbit fur, the works in Marking Time are intentionally focused on the expressiveness of pure clay and glaze.
Originally trained as a painter, Slentz has paid attention to the painterly potential of three-dimensional surface and form. She relishes the suspended fluidity of dried clay slip, and the contrast between protruding areas of mass that catch the light while other areas create shadow. Noticing that people under the shutdown became more resourceful, more conscious of waste, she decided not to throw away sculptures that broke during the creative process. Instead she drilled holes in the clay and stitched the pieces back together, adding the accidental breakage to her visual diary. 
By making her reaction to the pandemic so clearly visible, Slentz invites us to reflect on the journeys we’ve gone through over the past year. Did our experiences look like hers? How were they different? “If clay has sustained her,” the viewer might ask themselves, “then what has sustained me? How have I measured time?”
Sierra Slentz is a mother, visual artist, and educator who uses ceramic objects and installations to explore the persistence of human intervention and humanity’s unintentional mark on the landscape. Trained as a photographer and interdisciplinary artist, she earned her BFA from Sierra Nevada College in 1997 and her MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2001. Her practice is informed by her interest in geological formations, archeological finds, and her time spent in the desert observing life cycles and urban sprawl. Slentz’s work is part of the permanent collection at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. She has exhibited at venues across Southern Nevada, including Las Vegas City Hall and Core Contemporary, Las Vegas. Born in Laguna Beach, CA, she currently lives and works in Downtown Las Vegas. The artist would like to thank her family and friends, a.k.a. her quarantine crew, for their support and encouragement over the past year.
The exhibition runs from April 19 - July 24, 2021. Entry to the museum is free. Please see the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art website to read our safety guidelines. 
Support for this exhibition is provided by the WESTAF Regional Arts Resilience Fund, a relief grant developed in partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support arts organizations in the 13-state western region during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art believes everyone deserves access to art that challenges our understanding of the present and inspires us to create a future that holds space for us all. Located on the campus of the most racially diverse university in the United States, we strive to create a nourishing environment for those who continue to be neglected by contemporary art museums, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ groups. As the only art museum in the city of Las Vegas, we commit ourselves to leveling barriers that limit access to the arts, especially for first-time visitors. To facilitate access for low-income guests we provide free entry to all our exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and community activities. Our collection of artworks offers an opportunity for researchers and scholars to develop a more extensive knowledge of contemporary art in Southern Nevada. The Barrick Museum is part of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
Visit Us
The Barrick Museum of Art is open to the public Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. 
Find us
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is located in the heart of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. The museum is easily accessed from the west side of campus at the intersection of Harmon Avenue and University Center Drive. Drive east on East Harmon Ave until the road enters the campus and terminates in a parking lot. The Museum will be on your right, next to a desert landscape garden. Directions here
Visitors may park in metered, staff, and student spots free of charge after 7 pm on weekdays, 1 pm on Fridays, and all day Saturday. Daily, weekly, or monthly permits can be purchased from Parking and Transportation Services. Metered parking spaces for visitors can be found in the parking lot outside the Barrick’s entrance, along East Harmon Ave, and in the lot behind the Lied Library. Other metered green zones are available in the Cottage Grove Avenue Parking Garage and parking areas throughout campus.