ZAP 9 artist Gig Depio.
FIELD NOTES: Painter Gig Depio decided to get an early start on his ZAP box at Lone Mountain Road, near Fort Apache, a commission from Clark County's public art program.
METRO joined him for a ceremonial frisk and detain.
A call was made to METRO reporting a vandal was seen in the streets, said the artist, whose work is currently in "Tilting The Basin," an exhibition of Nevada artist curated by Nevada Museum of Art, now showing in the Arts District. METRO arrived and questioned Depio, and ask if he had any weapons on him, according to the artist. They frisked and detained him, even when he offered his phone so his Facebook feed and e-mails specific to the project could be examined.
Depio also had his ZAP sign from the county with him declaring he is an authorized artist, which were created so artists would not be suspect of vandalism. Other artists will soon be painting utility boxes in the Lone Mountain area.
By the time it ended three units responded to the call and Depio was detained for 20 minutes, hands clasped, but not cuffed. What may have helped is how one officer recognized Depio's painting style from his ZAP 7 box on Maryland. One did apologize, said the artist, but by then it was dark so he packed up his paints, brushes, and yellow sign that says "Artist At Work" and went home.
"Sky turned red too. What a dramatic exit," said Depio later that evening.
Courtesy Gig Depio.
Added Next Day: Since the "Artist at Work" sign with a Clark County logo, a written explanation of why anyone would paint a utility box, how painting a utility box is part of a public art program, and a phone number wasn't enough, GIg Depio played it safe and made another sign. "Gotta start the day right! Back to work!" said Depio.
The fugitive artist adds that this time cops waved to him when they drove by, and the sign got him five visits from residents from the neighborhood. "People actually stopped and requested selfies," said Depio.
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.