Gig Depio. Muralist.
“Through the Muddy” by Gig Depio is a Moapa mural masterpiece.
The work that was dedicated Wednesday night started when Depio was awarded the commission from a competitive field back in 2017. His research on The Moapa Valley was already rigorous. The call for art asked that it reflected the rural culture of Overton, one hour or so north of Las Vegas, so the artist walked around the town, dug into archived photography, read up on the region’s history. He titled the mural “Through the Muddy,” named after the local river that attracted early settlers.
Then he painted, painted...and painted. The work was in sections and completed in his garage and living room. It stayed like a housemate who refused to leave. Watching it in progress on his Facebook feed was like watching a cable series.
But that is his artistic process. Depio is an energetic and patient storyteller. Anyone who has mingled with him at the many art exhibitions he goes to––a way to support other artists––knows how he can shift topics with no warning while taking a selfie of you and then jump into another conversation before you know he is gone. He moves in a fog of overlapping moments. That is reflected in all his paintings. There is a lot of movement that have layers of conversation and this work is the story of a town that feels it has a lot of energy contained in a quiet space. Depio proves them right.
Moapa Valley Community Center
Depio does it with masterful brush strokes that tell tales in oils on canvas panels. His style of figurative forms appear to burst in a spectrum of color, but look closely and his work is a disciplined use of mostly warm Cadmium pigments.
He nailed it. And drilled. And hammered. He did whatever he needed to do to have it to fit on the appointed wall. Then as he started putting up piece in the initial installation, Depio discovered an infrastructure flaw, so the work had to be readjusted. The mural was redesigned to fit one wall over.
That was fortunate. It works better there. Instead of being a backdrop for officials during Moapa Valley Community Center meetings, it is now a backdrop for the whole town. You see it when you walk through the main doors of the center and it has you walking on the lone main road with Depio as your guide.
During Wednesday night’s dedication the townspeople mingled with an invasion of Las Vegas city art folk. They blended with the painting’s landscape and became part of the piece. Small moments of human contact mingled with small painted moments of historic interaction. For that night, when a mural about a town’s history was dedicated, people came in to tell stories in front of a wall telling stories. They did not realize Gig Depio gave them a 480 by 144 inch selfie.
"Through The Muddy"
Moapa Valley Community Center
320 North Moapa Boulevard. Overton, Nevada.
ABOVE: Gig Depio
“Through the Muddy”
2017-18 480” x 144”
Oil on Canvas
An Online Arts Journal
February 2 – March 31, 2019
and Gallery Talk:
Sunday, February 10, 2019,
4 p.m.–7 p.m.
S P O N S O R