Monday, January 5, 2009

Life Starts at the Spring.

I officially met artist and Henderson Art Association affiliate member Ozzy Villate at the last HAA meeting. I say "officially"  because we'd seen each other in passing before and nodded but it was that evening that we really met one another. I sat back and watched as he literally unfurled his plan for a mural that had just been approved by the city, then carefully took the fifteen or so board members and committee chairpersons—myself included—through it.

During his presentation, I actually stood to his right and helped him hold the two-dimensional scaled, vibrant, full-color rendering of the mural as he explained in vivid detail his vision and inspiration.

Then, when he was finished, I took the floor and presented to this same audience my vision for the HAA, itself. Visually, mine was a less colorful display but, I'd argue, equally passionate. Neither one of us is big on public speaking and we made that clear up front. We each broke the ice with a self-deprecating comment or two, then moved on with our respective agendas. Two different approaches about two disparate subjects. Oddly enough, we both finished to deliberate head nodding and a round of applause. The people in the room could see what we saw and I guess that's as much as any artist could ever ask.

That was the first HAA board meeting I'd ever been invited to and the first one I'd ever attended. That meeting inspired a lot things. For starters, it inspired this website and a deeper hope and belief that the downtown Henderson Water Street District will someday turn around. And we're all hopeful that this day will come soon.

Well, the next board meeting is this Wednesday and, I'd say, there's been a bit of progress for many of us since the last. This site has seen over 1100 hits. Many existing artists have been featured in cyberspace. New members have come onboard. PR Committe Chair Nicky Watts, who also shared her vision for the HAA with the board that evening, was recently featured in the Las Vegas Sun for her recycled paper project (see Older Posts). Now, lo and behold, an article of Ozzy's mural coming to fruition is breaking in the Las Vegas Sun this very day.

The article does a good job of explaining Ozzy's vision although little can do it justice like hearing it from the mural artist himself. Within it, there are rainbows, airplanes, a small mountain range, and elements from the periodic table. All of this has meaning. In the center, there is a fountain from which pours a body of water that grounds the entire piece.

The fountain is central visually and metaphorically. The rainbow gets a lot of love but, for me, coming to life on an aptly named Water Street, it is indeed the water that is symbolic. Its pale and dark blue ripples undulate rhythmically, almost mathematically, giving movement and representing the ebbs and flows of tides for the characters (seen and unseen) in the mural world but maybe even more for all of us artists and the community. It is a source of revitalization and replenishment. How incredibly fitting.

Thank you, Ozzy, for your dedication and your vision. We look forward to seeing it and drawing from it in its true form someday soon.

Read the full article from the Las Vegas Sun here:

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