Gig Depio at Winchester Cultural Center in 2014 I Photo PtD.
The Great Eight of 2016: Las Vegas painter Gig Depio, sculptor Justin Favela, sculpture David Rowe, along with Reno-based painter Erik Burke, were each granted FY16 Artist Fellowships, announced the Nevada Art Council. Digital media artist Joseph DeLappe will be the first recipient of NAC’s Fellowship Project grant. Honorable mentions were awarded to Reno artists Dean Burton, Nate Clark, and Nick Larsen.
Add Jackpot: Also announced this week were FY16 Jackpot Grant 1st Quarter awardees. Southern Nevada recipients include Pierce Emata, Ed Fuentes, Wendy Kveck, Diane Olson-Baskin, David Sanchez Burr, and Diego Vega.
Veiko Valencia at Satellite Contemporary I Photo: PtD
Extended storytelling that comments on contemporary art appropriation risks being a retread of ideas presented as discovered enlightenment. Veiko Valencia avoids that with the skills of a boxer dodging and weaving an opponent while landing hooks to the head. That’s why “Process of Conflict,” a set of small paintings of boxers, are not out of place at “Copy of a Copy” at Satellite Contemporary. It opens the solo show with delicate brush strokes shifting pastels into image of a harsh sport to talk about adapting to a conflicted culture.
Then Valencia his first punch. From there the show is reliant on copy as the new art language as conflicted culture and begins with "Project Michael." Valencia digs into how the art of coping can raise a found object to be read as having intellectual, conceptual, and financial cache. The process of this transformation is more striking when the original object is considered "useless," says the artist.
“Project Michael” one of the works in "Copy of the Copy" at Satellite Contemporary by Veiko Valencia.
This piece began when Valencia recovered a painting of a skull, a found object, in his studio’s trash at his university in Boise, Idaho, where he’s now an MFA student. The original artist’s name was Michael and dropped out, said other students, and discarded a small work. “Project Michael” is about making a copy of a copy, says Valencia. “At the end we can see that the process of the copy is not only a deterioration process but also an additive process.”
He painted a copy of the original, then used the copy to use as source material for the next one, and so on. In the original, there is a small spot of white space from unpainted canvas. As Valencia progressed, he painted white to reproduce the unpainted space. Now the set are literary repackaged and lined up on the wall for retail presentation on walls designed for reflective contemplation.
“The more copies are made the less important the first source becomes.” says Valencia. “And the viewer cannot distinguish which painting was from the trash.”
Bruce Isaacson. Photo: PtD
Poet Notes: Murals are not the only way to tell a story. The new Clark County Poet Laureate to hold workshop. Our national laureate speaks. Another regional laureate prays.
LAS VEGAS: Bruce Isaacson, the newly appointed Clark County Poet Laureate, jumps into one of his self-assigned duties by holding "Beat Poetic" workshops. With his beat background, Isaacson will help poets explore the urban word terrain of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. "Sessions are free but it's not the 'workshop-your-poems' thing," says Isaacson.
The workshops will be on three Saturdays: July 18, August 15, and September 12, at the Winchester Cultural Center (3130 S. McLeod Drive). They begin at 2 p.m. and will end at 3:30. To register, email Isaacson at PoetLaureateClarkCounty (at) cox.net. Other details at Las Vegas Poets.
Juan Felipe Herrera. Photo courtesy UCR.
NATIONAL: A day after Bruce Isaacson was introduced to a gathering of poets and poet listeners at Winchester Cultural Center June 6, news leaked that the incoming PLOTUS, the poet laureate of the United States, would be Juan Felipe Herrera. The University California Riverside professor of creative writing emeritus (my hometown) and former California Poet Laureate, is the first Latino to be the national voice.
Herrera’s first public appearance was as Keynote speaker during the commencement ceremony for UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. He said in part:
We want you to make room for the new you. And people are waiting for you. You must give it your life, you must give it your time, you must give it your friendship, you must give it the breath you breathe.
LAST WORD: While the Clark County poet position was being formed, some wondered what is the duty of a poet laureate? Isaacson will introduce the idea to a county and give local poets a higher profile. Herrera moves to speak for a nation.
Others speak for a region. The poet laureate of South Carolina, Marjory Wentworth, penned a dedication to those who lost their lives in the attack at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. The poem is titled “Holy City” and opens with a quote from one of nice victims, Reverend Clementa Pinckney: "Only love can conquer hate." BBC has the full recital.
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.