In The News: Department of Art
Stewart Freshwater's North Las Vegas home doubles as a multispace studio. Stacks of drawings, sketches and art supplies fill the dining room, guest bedroom and even the master bathroom. Lacking the advantage of a north light window, Freshwater takes his work from room to room throughout the day, tempering the effects of inconsistent natural light, a major burden for many fine artists as the sun's angle changes.
All morning, excited people stream in to gather free comic books. In the back of the store, patrons huddle by a table as comics are signed by their creators. A few fans dressed as comic book characters mingle with civilians in comic logo-laden T-shirts, while others huddle in conversation or stalk the racks in search of new finds.
"Clark’s Las Vegas Townsite Map” (1905) greets visitors to the Block 17 exhibition at UNLV’s Donna Beam Gallery.
Sick of your selfie self yet? Likely not. The Museum (and I use the term loosely) of Selfies opened last year in Hollywood as a place for anyone to Insta indulge. Now a second site will open in the Miracle Mile Shops on the Las Vegas Strip on Oct. 25.
I show up while a workshop is in progress at the back of Core Contemporary. The artist Sapira Cheuk is teaching some beginner techniques of Chinese brush painting to local Las Vegans. The participants are intent on painting their own inky bamboo gardens.
Fun. Excitement. Indulgence. Relaxation. Over the years, Las Vegas has prided itself on giving visitors an anything-goes escape they can’t find anywhere else on the planet. And while the city still delivers on that promise, it seems Vegas is cornering the market on something totally new: Inspiration.
Textile artist Amanda Browder collaborates with the communities she’s working in to built site-specific architectural interventions. Using hundreds of yards of donated fabric with bright colors and patterns, Browder and her volunteer teams stitch together enormous panels that resemble crazy quilts. The panels wrap around bell towers, sheath elevated walkways, and drape from gables and eaves to give passersby a new experience of familiar buildings.
Tim Bavington hit me with flowers. With seven-foot bouquets of flowers, to be precise, smack-dab in the middle of two large paintings on the wall of his downtown Las Vegas studio.
Each year in September, Metropolis dives deep into the world of textiles, profiling industry leaders, surveying techniques, and showcasing radical new projects. Here, we highlight five artists pushing the boundary of their craft.
When Tyreek Jarman, aka Chop808, released his single “Nobody’s Safe” in May, it came with an unusual label: the word “EXPLICIT.” But something else was different, too. The wholesome and upbeat Jarman, known for hamming it up and dancing with fans at shows, was gone. Here was a menacing beast firing machine-gun bars over a bass-heavy trap beat. You don’t wanna go to war with me, I grew up with apes, he warns on the track.
In a field of golden corn, a crucified figure tips to the left, as if he might fall; resembling Jesus, this is likely the maize god, central to Olmec, Maya, and Aztec belief systems. Butterflies surround another patriarch, perhaps Jesus on a good day: He extends his huge orange-brown arms, offering an embrace. Between these two figures, a green creature surrounded by streaks of orange and yellow hovers over a fire as she delivers a child.
Between paid gigs, designer Spencer Haley makes motion tests, practicing for his next challenge. One of his recent studies uses the disembodied head of a man who looks like a 1960s car salesman, multiplied, twisted and slid around. The salesman is still confident and cocky, even as he’s spun silly and shish-kabobbed—an indication of Haley’s considerable talent.