Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who Made the Blog Today? Nabila Khanam

Artist Nabila Khanam developed a passion for Fine Art Photography after retiring from her international business in textiles and clothing. It was then that she moved to Henderson, NV and began her long-cherished pursuit of photography.

Nabila is a member of the Henderson Art Association, Boulder City Art Guild, Nevada Camera Club, and the Photography Club of the College of Southern Nevada.

Learn more about Nabila and see more of her work at her website.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

NV Arts Advocates Arts Awareness Luncheon

You're invited to join the Nevada Arts Advocates as they celebrate 31 years of supporting creativity. 

The luncheon will take place December 10, 2008 at the Gold Coast Hotel, Salon A B. Doors open at 11:30 am and lunch will be served at noon.

John Oceguera, NV State Assembly Majority Leader and Dina Titus, NV Congresswoman-Elect will be guest speakers.

Tickets are available at $30.00 per person if paid by December 5th and $35.00 if paid after December 5th or at the door.

To secure yours, pay by credit card, or inquire about other events, contact the NAA at this email address or visit their site.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Life's Journey Exhibit at Multigenerational Center

Artist and watercolorist Sharon Menary will be exhibiting work in her Life's Journey of the Traveling Artists show at the Henderson Multigenerational Center. The Center is located at 250 S. Green Valley Parkway, across from the Paseo Verde Library.

The exhibit will officially be on display from December 1, 2008 through January 2, 2009, although it is already hanging, if anyone would like to see it a little earlier.

There will be a reception on Wednesday, December 3rd from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Come. Support. Bring friends.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Hope you're all ready to settle in for the long-awaited holiday. Or maybe you're already settled.

This site may go a little quiet for a few days. But rest assured, we'll be back. We'll be back with a vengeance. Please use that time to check out some of the recent posts or visit some of the recently added links. There is a lot of talent out there and having access to many artists' sites in one place makes it easy to see what's going on, locally and in other parts of the country.

If you're a local, visit Chef Flemming's Bakery. Indulge. Support the downtown Henderson economy. Be inspired.

Head to the Liberace Museum. ( It's not in Henderson but it's just a few minutes away and they've recently opened their doors to the HAA and the NVWS. It's only right that we take time to return the favor. Plus, the costume, piano, and car collections are simply dazzling.

Again, as a community, we must all continue to encourage, collaborate, and lift each other up.

To that end, Henderson Art Association member and PR Committee Head Nicky Watts has been pounding the pavement this week and making inroads with several local vendors and businesses. More posts on this progress and some pretty fresh shows from Nicky and others to come soon.

In general, there's a ton of great stuff going on in the community right now. We could give you a rundown but the Las Vegas Sun has already done a stellar job of encapsulating it. Read more. Get the details here. Then think about how you can be a part of it.

Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Art I Learned in the 4th Grade.

Artwork by Clark County students. Photos of artwork by Richard Brian/Home News.

One dark and dreary school night, many moons ago, I sat at home, full of dread, while my parents zealously attended a Parent-Teacher Meeting. My grade school interim report suggested that I was doing more than getting by, but there was one bit of criticism from that evening's discussion that blind-sided me and, as you can see, may have scarred me for life.

How was I doing? Fine, as far as I was concerned. Math? Great. Science? Passing with flying colors. Art? Presumably my favorite and most intuitive subject. So what bad things could my fourth grade art teacher possibly have to say? I can remember the librarian's name. Miss Bitner. But the art teacher's has long since been forgotten and rightfully so.

I wasn't there for the confab between grown-ups regarding my progress, so all I've ever had to go on is hearsay. According to my parents, she said I displayed some innate artistic ability. Cool.

But that wasn't all she said. She went on to say that I was "too meticulous." All of eight years old, I could hardly pronounce the word. Having no idea what it meant, I still took issue with it. I didn't like the way it sounded, even when I spoke it. My little finger-painting spirit was officially crushed.

In that class, I specifically remember rendering a copy of the cartoon feline Garfield and it turning out pretty brilliantly, for a fourth grader. But because I was so focused on perfecting his whiskers, or his stripes, or his tail, I received unspoken admonishment in the form of a barely passing grade, to which I really wanted to reply "'s art."

Today, I understand the definition of "meticulous" well and to this day, I still don't understand how that was a bad thing. Regardless, in Miss What's-her-face's mind it was, and simply hearing it made me conscious enough as a child not to take art for several of my crucial formative years.

Eventually, I got over it and figured things out on my own, with the help of true guidance, mentorship, and encouragement, not the kind you find in a textbook. To some degree I still hold that woman responsible for my not enrolling in a creative curriculum or pursuing a creative field sooner than I did. Thankfully, one day I figured out that, while I didn't know what I wanted to do, I knew what I DIDN'T want to do, and that was dress, think, and act like everybody else.

Now I think for myself. Some days I actually get paid to think. And I will strongly encourage my child to think for him- or herself too, with the promise of someday getting paid to do so. Being an artist—any type of artist—allows you to do that. It's liberation of the mind, the soul, the heart.

So, when I came across an article in the Las Vegas Sun championing art in the Clark County School District, I immediately knew what I had to do. Spread the word. Support the cause. Include a link.

The editors were kind enough to let me include a couple of photos of the student work on this site. You've already seen them at the top of this post and, truth be told, they're light years ahead of where mine ever were.

Check out the full story, and let's all do our part to encourage and let kids know it's never a bad thing to think things through and definitely a wonderful thing to dream.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Starving Artists, Starve No More.

Photos: Dana Satterwhite

If art is food for the soul, baked goods are food for the artist. Enter, Chef Flemming's Bake Shop on Water Street in downtown Henderson, NV. This newly opened European Style Bakery just off the southeast corner of Water Street and Lake Mead Parkway is there for your eating pleasure. Stop in. Pay them a visit. Think of it as one form of artistry appreciating another. And, if you feel like it, tell 'em you heard about them here and the HAA sent you.

Who Made the Blog Today? Jo Firm

Jo Firm

Raised in Montana, a graduate of the University of Montana, Jo spent many years in Alaska with her husband and two children. She now splits her time between Montana and Nevada.

Jo is a member of the Henderson Art Association, a Signature Member of the Nevada Watercolor Society, and a member of the Billings Arts Association.

See her work and learn more about her at her website.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Which Came First, the Artist or the Loft?

"If you build it, they will come."

So say some of us. Others haven't the vision, belief, risk tolerance, or funds these days to go out on a limb and take a chance on anything less than a sure bet.

"Show me that they're coming, and we'll think about building it. Again, we said we'll think about it."

Today, that seems to be more the approach than the former, especially when art and a place to develop and nurture it are in question. But this economy will not be here forever and change is inevitable. Necessity, being the mother of all invention, will at some point kick in. When all of us artists discover a common need, as we very well may be doing right here, right now, we will begin to find ways—innovative ways—to reestablish our toe-hold, flourish, and leave our mark. And, on the bright side, development is beginning to take place. The desired renaissance will not happen overnight, of course, but a movement is afoot and things are underway. That's the first step toward progress.

In the meantime, while we have the time (yes, for better or worse, right now many of us have lots of time) let's turn our attention to other successful art communities that have built, over time, exactly what we aspire to and look to them for inspiration. Santa Fe. San Miguel. SOHO. DUMBO. Williamsburg. P-town. Martha's Vineyard. They may not all have artist's lofts but they each have a perspective, an appreciation, boundless energy, and will to succeed. Maybe sometimes that's all it takes. All of this may sound a bit simplified and optimistic but half the battle is figuring out ways to keep the troops motivated, so try to stay with me.

A friend asked just yesterday "How do you get people to visit your blog?" Not this blog, but any blog. The answer: "I'm not quite sure." There's a lot of back-end configuring and search engine optimization that one could employ to maximize hits, stickiness, new acquires, and all that business. Honestly, who has the time? For now, I'm sticking with good old-fashioned word of mouth and, not even a week in, it seems to be doing not great, not awful, but okay.

It's a lot like standing in front of a blank canvas. There's a grand, daunting expectation (almost an obligation) to make something out of nothing. Sometimes this pressure is external but it can just as easily come from within. Either way, few things are more intimidating. But once you apply the first stroke, then the second, and third, somehow something that was nothing just seconds before begins to take shape. Suddenly, you can see it. Amazing, isn't it?

So, for the sake of our collective sanity and to the benefit of the art community here and anywhere else, let's think of ourselves as a blank canvas. First, a website, or a blog, or a show, or an arts walk. Then two. Then ten. Then a gallery. Then a row of galleries. Then a whole block. Then the affordable live-work spaces and the open studios. We apply layers. Step back. Admire what we've done but still find ways to improve upon it; still go out of our way to make it better, not because we have to but because we want to. Because we love to. Because we can.

Just like that, what had never been just a short while before is, in an instant, on its way to becoming something bigger and better than we ever could have imagined.

If we build it, will they come?

My friends, together, we're building. Slowly, surely, you, we, they are coming.

Who Made the Blog Today? Sharon Menary

Sharon Menary

Born in Canada, the daughter of a successful artist in her own right, Sharon is a Signature Member of Nevada Watercolor Society and member of the Henderson Art Association Board of Directors.

Featured here, a still life "Evening Wine" and her latest painting "Jelly Bean Jungle" inspired by the heat of Las Vegas and the lush vegetation of a recent vacation. This painting received an Honorable Mention Award at the Fine Arts Competition recently held at the Liberace Museum.

See more of her work and learn more about her and her latest venture, The Studio for Artists on her website.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Adapt or Face Extinction

The starving artist.

Proverbial character or fitting description? Self-fulfilling prophecy or inaccurately assigned label? Do we live up to it or do we rise above and overcome it? Truth is, even in this economy, much of our success (or failure) is entirely up to us.

In my experience, art has never been universally pushed upon youngsters much in the same way as law or medicine. I don't recall anyone with a palette and paint brush in their hands or an easel and a beret cocked to the side on their head, standing before my first grade classroom on Career Day, preaching the benefits of a job in the arts. Ever.

I do remember, 30+ years later, the bright red plastic fire chief hat I got, though, and wearing it around proudly. Actually, I got a new one each year for like every year through the fourth grade. Another career day, another plastic fire hat. So, what did I want to be? A fireman. A policeman. Honestly, anything they put before me. If I could see it or hear about it from someone successfully making their way in that vocation, I could relate to it. I could aspire to it. And, at the time, I did.

Perhaps, on behalf of a silent initiative to have their children grow up to be "successful" providers and not a bunch of flat broke, artsy, pie in the sky dreamers, this was more calculated than I'd ever imagined. Maybe the conventional wisdom has always been to shy away from these disciplines among others that play to our more caring, emotional sides because the perception (and sometimes reality) is there's little to no money in them.

Maybe since kids, from very early on, learn by repeating behavior, the principals and vice principals figured whomever they wheeled into the classrooms in uniform would effectively influence what we would all grow up to be. We would get benefits and have pensions and be protected by the unspoken honor bestowed upon anyone who's ever worked in the name of upholding society's moral code. Net net: at least, we could earn a buck. Oddly enough, I don't remember teachers from other schools (or even our school) coming into the classroom for Career Day to encourage us little ones to pursue that profession either.

So, assuming this plan was in place and there was a conscious effort to steer us wee ones, incapable of thinking for ourselves, toward a more acceptable, secure profession, did it work? In some cases, it may have. But let me just say, I don't know where my fireman's helmet is and I haven't seen it in years.

Sometimes we choose art. Sometimes art chooses us. Bottom line, we're here and if we are to succeed as artists, much like the evolution of our work, styles, and mediums, so too over time must our philosophies, expectations, and approaches change.

Drop prices? Hold fast? Go commercial? What to do?

I haven't the answers (just yet) but coming together here and finding comfort in the fact that we're all facing many of the same issues isn't a bad place to start. Here's a link to a recent article featuring artists (a few of Henderson's own) who take different stances on it. Who's right? Who's wrong? Again, not to say. Just having the discussion is a step in the right direction. Read on.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Watercolor Society results, as promised.

Apparently my apology was accepted. :)

Here are the winners.

"Cellar Stash" by Barbara Stanton
"The China Cabinet" by Elida Kidman
"Rock Harvester" by Anne Nahser
"River Houses Along the Chao Piraya"

"Eye of the Beholder" by Anne Nahser

"Rising Moon" by Joyce Lee Peterson

"Fall Sunset" by Barbara Yoerg

"Zion-Up Close" by Shirley Winslow

"Forward & Reverse" by Dottie Burton


Who Made the Blog Today? Gary and Susanne Reese

Gary and Susanne Reese

Husband and wife creative duo, you can find them at their home away from home in the heart of downtown Henderson, Plaza Gallery.

He's an award-winning artist and ecologist. She's an award-winning artist and founder of the Water Street District's ARTS Walk.

Visit their site and their gallery as often as you like. You are always welcome.

New Feature: Who Made the Blog Today?

This is a new feature. Being less than three days old, anything on this site is a new feature.

We have put out a call for artists, new and existing; young and old, and the response has been pretty overwhelming.

To manage the number of submissions we receive and try to keep as many local artists as content as possible, we will post head shots, bios, and a piece or two of an artist's, artists' or gallery's work. To be fair, this will generally be done in the order that this information is received. Unless, of course, someone has an upcoming show or something else that logically dictates maybe they get bumped to the front of the line. We will use discretion.

Kind of like how a pregnant couple might receive a police escort down the shoulder of crowded freeway or when you let someone with two cans of soup, a pack of gum, and a TV Guide go ahead of you and your jam-packed shopping cart at the grocery store.

That's the type of thing we mean.

We will also use discretion on which work we display here. A little risque? Perhaps. The really racy stuff (We've seen some already.) will be reserved for each artist's personally hosted site.

This new feature applies to members of the Henderson Art Association. More specifically, to those members who are in good standing.

For information on joining the HAA and perhaps even a formal definition of "in good standing," visit the official HAA website or contact the HAA here:

Stay creative.

40-acre Project Gets Green Light

Approved by the Henderson Planning Commission on November 20, 40-acre mixed-use project, to include 1,700 residences and 850,000 square feet of commercial space, to go before City Council for final approval December 16, 2008.

Read more here.

40-acre project gets OK from Henderson planners - Las Vegas Sun

Family Fun Walk in Henderson

When? Today.
Saturday, November 22nd from 10:00 am to noon.

Where? Equestrian Park (1200 Equestrian Drive at Magic Way)
Click here for full details.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blog to Nevada Watercolor Society: If I caused any drama, it was unintentional.

Okay. So, just to clear up any confusion, this site came into being less than two days ago and already...controversy.

Not really.

In an effort to get word out about the week-long Watercolor Society show before the reception actually kicked off last night, I drove to the Liberace Museum (a local favorite) in the morning, shot a few photos of the work, and posted two of them on the site simply to give the viewing audience a small sample of what they could expect to see.

Why did I take shots of the pieces that I did? Valid question. Because, for one reason or another, they spoke to me. The lighting and shadows on them were a little less harsh. They were the easiest to shoot in the limited time I had. Fewer chairs stood in my way. Who knows? Honestly, there was zero science applied to it.

I took 29 photos in all. Began to post four. Whittled down to three. Ended up with two. Truth be told, it was a fairly random process. Little did I know that photos of the two pieces I chose to post on the site as mere examples also happened to be two of the pieces selected by the judges. I wasn't even aware that there was a judging component. Silly me. As one very kind (and prominent) member of the NVWS pulled me aside and said after explaining myself, I "have a good eye." Maybe I do.

Anyway, this was (believe it or not) sheer coincidence.

I attended the reception but had to leave before the winners were announced. I have not yet received their names but when I do, they will be posted here. We applaud them all and thank every participant, society member, and artist near and far for sharing whatever lives in their hearts and minds with the rest of us.

If the winners' artwork does not appear here yet, I will do my best to make it over to the museum to shoot those as well and revisit this post. Thanks for coming out, forgiving this misstep, and understanding that crazy things do happen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Third Thursday: Another reason to give thanks before the fourth Thursday.

Pink Cloud Gallery
The Water Street Gallery, 155 S. Water Street, Suite 100

Plaza Gallery, 233 S. Water Street, Suite B
Home to Quiet Places Photography, Special Day Design, and Studio D Artglass

Head down to Water Street near the convention center to take part in the festivities. Third Thursday is a family oriented event that attracts browsers, buyers, window shoppers, and all sorts of locals and residents looking for something fun to do as the weekend approaches. Art galleries, coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants open their doors and welcome you to join them in the Water Street District. Check out Plaza Gallery or Quiet Places to satisfy your artistic appetite. Then stop in one of the local establishments to satisfy your other one. With music, shopping, and no shortage of good company, there's a little something for everyone, adults and children alike.

Where? Downtown Henderson (Soon to be known as the artist's district.)

When? Every third Thursday of each month between 5:00 and 9:00 pm. 

For more information call 267-1515.

Watercolors, beads, and sequins. Oh, my!

Watercolors shown here by Anne Nahser and Dottie Burton.

Beyond his obvious talents and flair for subdued fashion, Liberace loved the arts. All arts.

So it's only fitting that a tradition of inviting other artists and art organizations from around the area to display new work has begun.

Last month it was work from the Henderson Art Association. This month work from the Nevada Watercolor Society is being showcased in the 75-seat Cabaret Showroom at the Liberace Museum.

The museum is located at 1775 E. Tropicana Avenue at Spencer. The show officially opens with a reception this evening, Thursday, November 20, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The reception is free to the public but feel free to come early, check out the rest of the sights and sounds the museum has to offer. Make a donation. Take a tour. Pick up a little something for the holidays from the gift shop.

The show will continue to be on display but for just under a week. It ends November 26. This is a quick one. So check it out while you can.

Sorry for the last-minute notice. Again, we've got a few things to work out. Help us and support us as we all do our part to build this dynamic cultural community, one successful event at a time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Blank Canvas. Not For Long.

Tonight, seventeen board members, committee heads, and affiliates gathered at one lovely home in Henderson to discuss the fate of the Henderson Art Association. More than anything, this small group of dedicated volunteers are artists and art enthusiasts themselves. There was food, wine, laughter, clapping, voting, a pair of well-mannered mop-top dogs, and a general consensus that, even without a physical gallery space to call home, the association should, can, and will go on.

There were agendas, minutes, presentations, and budgetary reports from the standing treasurer. There were issues raised by the president, yearly summations from the vice president, and a proposal for a mural that, after many years, looks like it's gonna go through. There were comments from officers and non-officers alike, bathroom breaks, pregnant pauses, and awkward silences. All the makings of any well-laid meeting. There were also open, candid discussions about art, the difficulties of showing, selling, and promoting our own, especially at lean times like these. There were even sincere and honest dialogues about the trials of volunteering, assuming responsibility out of necessity, obligation, extreme coercion, and taking on roles not because we have time but rather because we share two things. The will to survive and passion.

With this gathering came welcome discovery and understanding that in order to move forward and truly begin to create the progressive artists' community that we all envision for the Water Street District, Henderson, Las Vegas, and Southern Nevada, things may need to take on a new shape or a new direction.

Thus, a Henderson artists blog was born. This blog is born of the Henderson Art Association for the growth of the Henderson Art Association. Can something created by an organization help that very organization become more dynamic than it was before? We hope so. We're about to find out.

We will begin and continue to post news about art, shows, openings, presentations, demonstrations, classes, and upcoming events in the Henderson artistic community here and encourage you to submit news of anything you know that's going on that we may have missed. Likely we will miss a few things along the way since we're just getting started (again), so please bear with us. Help us. Create something with us.

In the end, the best part about it is this blog, like art, is whatever we want to make it. Here goes.