Baptism Bunny (2013)
16" X 20" acrylic on canvas.
Featured in Jana's Red Room.
The multi-colored wheat-paste of this urban rabbit comes from artist Omayra Amador. She's a Puerto Rican native raised in New York City, the Bronx to be specific, and influenced by that city’s street art and graffiti. Amador attended high school in Manhattan and her portfolio led to a full ride at Parsons, then she traveled to Paris to study for 6 months. “That is where I discovered Banksy and I was hooked to street art,” Amador says. “I fell in love with the idea of putting your work in public to break someone from the routine. Street art, its raw, vulnerable, enticing.”
Her series is titled “Milk The Bunny,” and as noted here earlier, looks like a “Mad Hatter psychedelic throwback, a happy social outlaw who wants to be the muse of the Arts District's 18 blocks.” The practiced strokes of color give detail on the fur of Amador’s personal street and fine art spirit animal, named "Unibunny." "I do remember loving and studying Diego Rivera's fresco paintings," she says. "They were vibrant. I wanted that for my wheat-pastes."
Her series now uses cans and floating clouds, iconography that comes from emotive recall. “I have fond memories of seeing Café Bustelo cans in my parent’s pantry," she says. "It's nostalgic for me. I recently began incorporating the cans into my installations and paintings.” The clouds and thought bubbles are the artist's thought process that is “always in the clouds.” It adds more layers of playing off her culture and how she identifies herself as a Latina artist.
Is it also about artists chasing ideas and ending up falling down a rabbit hole? Something like that, admits Amador. “Alice in Wonderland chasing something; that being new discoveries in my work. There is always something to discover,” she says about the self-proclaimed obsession. “The bunny subject always seemed to recur in my work during college, so I kept that animal for symbolism."
Amador does stray away from her favored image. She just completed a recent small acrylic and stencil folk-art style mural for the Las Vegas PhotoCollective, located inside Reclaimed Art Suppliez and Community Art Exchange.
“Moving out to Vegas from New York was good for me,” says Amador. “It had to happen in order for my work to grow. And it has tremendously.”
Milk The Bunny: Website
Milk The Bunny: Facebook
Milk The Bunny in the 18b Arts District. February, 2014 I Photo Paint This Desert
Previous 18b bunny: Juan Muniz
Mural by Zio Ziegler in downtown Las Vegas painted for Life Is Beautiful I Photo: Paint This Desert May 2014
Charlotte Dutoit, the curator for Life is Beautiful's street art program, sent out the call for one urban artist to join the international ensemble that will be painting in downtown Las Vegas. The submission deadline is Thursday September 25, 2014. From the website:
There are no artistic theme requirements. The theme of the mural should be respectful of the greater context of the community, including historic and socio-cultural contexts and does not contain text, graphics or symbols that specifically advertise or promote a business, product or service. Sponsors’ names will not appear, nor will the work promote a specific political candidate or party, religion or violence. Artists may submit more than one proposal.
The wall is 70 feet wide and 40 feet tall. LiB will provide equipment, art supplies, airfare and accommodations for eight nights. Full details and application at Live Is Beautiful International Artist Contest.
The Western Museums Association’s (WMA) Annual Meeting is being held at The Flamingo beginning October 5 and this year's theme has regional subtext, "Expect the Unexpected." Las Vegas is well represented in the conference panels.
“Unexpected Art: Experiencing Visual Culture in Non-Traditional Spaces” with Tarissa Tiberti of Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art; Michele Quinn of MCQ Fine Art; and Lisa Marchese of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The session will be moderated by Danielle Kelly, Executive Director, of Neon Museum. The session is Monday, October 6, from 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. From the conference website:
This session rethinks venue, context, and audience through firsthand accounts of Las Vegas’s unusual—and celebrated—visual art experiences. Discussion focuses on strategies for turning presumed liabilities into assets, nurturing a migrant audience, and the complexities of corporate culture and sponsorship. This session hopes to inspire a dialogue about the significance of, and significant challenges to, creating space for culture where one might least expect it.
The other regional-centric session is “Mirror, Mirror: How Las Vegas's Museums Reflect Local Culture” with Jonathan Ullman of The Mob Museum; Allan Palmer of National Atomic Testing Museum, and Dennis McBride of Nevada State Museum. That will be held Tuesday, October 7 at 1:30 p.m. The go-to Danielle Kelly is moderating. From the website:
This session looks inside several Las Vegas institutions and examines how they reflect its terrifically unique local culture. How does context frame cultural relevance and foster value? How do we capture the stories a community tells about itself? Is cultural identity created by design or by chance? Session discussion considers the symbiosis between a city’s self-image and its institutions while shaping fresh strategies for institutionalizing cultural value and identity.
Exhibit Critique: The Neon Museum is subject for this year's subject that the conference takes a close examination of "exhibition practices of a select institution," so the newly restored neon signs, "Liberace" and "Jerry's Nugget," arrived in time for the conference.
Levi Fonz Ponce in Mérida, Yucatan I Via Facebook
Los Angeles artist Levi Fonz Ponce will be painting live in the iHeartRadio Music Village at MGM Grand on Saturday. Through his method of getting work up on walls, Ponce has updated Latino muralism by adding a street art sensibility to site-specific traditions. He focuses on portraiture, at times celebrity-driven, but always a nod to his influences; his father artist / muralist Hector Ponce, and pioneer Kent Twitchell. As an arts advocate, Ponce lead a mini-movement of mural making that became the Pacoima Mural Mile, out in the eastern San Fernando Valley. The artist made gestures to do the same in Mexico when being featured the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Ateneo de Yucatán (MACAY) by hitting the streets to work with Mexicano graff artists in Merida, Yucatan.
It's not Ponce's first visit to this valley. He has a mural on a North Las Vegas boxing gym, at Cheyenne and Civic Center, off Interstate 15.
A mural of boxer Fernando Vargas by Levi Fonz Ponce I Photo: Paint This Desert January 2014
"Land of Giants" Choi + Shine
On the Icelandic landscape, with small alterations to existing pylon, this design transforms function into form. Behold the sculpture towers. From Choi + Shine Architects' website:
The pylon-figures can be configured to respond to their environment with appropriate gestures. As the carried electrical lines ascend a hill, the pylon-figures change posture, imitating a climbing person. Over long spans, the pylon-figure stretches to gain increased height, crouches for increased strength or strains under the weight of the wires.
A design competition was held in March of 2008 by Landsnet, the Iceland national power transmission company, working in collaboration with the Association of Icelandic Architects. The competition goal was to harvest new ideas in types and appearances for 220kV high-voltage towers and lines. The rules stated consideration had be given to the visual impact of the towers (or lines) near “urban areas and unsettled regions.”
Other examples at io9.
"Land of Giants" Choi + Shine