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Southern Nevada may not have foliage tours and apple-picking excursions, but autumn here brings a full calendar of arts and culture to keep us busy. Find a guide to this year’s season here, along with book reviews, interviews, profiles, and a true-crime tale from the annals of punk rock.View as a flipbook or download the PDF on Issuu>>

Fall Culture Guide 2023: Visual Arts

Oct. 13-Dec. 8

A dead giveaway that you’re looking at a LaRon Emcee painting is a head of hair represented by a cloud. Emcee says it’s a symbol of dreams and a celebration of Black hair. His work fuses cartoon portraiture with surrealist painting, allowing him to project subjects’ inner lives on their outward appearance. “My goal is to make pieces that are relatable to the people in my community,” the artist says, on his website. The Pearson Community Center Gallery is open weekdays 7a-9p, weekends 7a-6p.

Oct. 14

Continuing the trend of recurring date alliteration for art events (see: first Friday, third Thursday), Robin Slonina has chosen the second Saturday of each month for her open house exhibitions featuring local artists and incorporating interactive fun for the public. October’s event will showcase the works of Jayson Atienza, Q’Shaundra James, 3 Baaad Sheep, Gina Bobina, Glynn Galloway, Fifi Marika and Nicole Cochener, along with the owner/artist herself.

Oct. 24-Jan. 6

Painter Byron Stout took the assignment of creating a show for Left of Center Art Gallery somewhat literally. The subject of his exhibition, The Other Side, is what you see when you shift your gaze away from the usual focal points and consider what’s on the margins. “In these images,” he says in his artist statement, “I am trying to present an angle of America that can only be seen if you’re looking left of center.” Get it? The result is a collection of scenes and portraits casting a warm light on what Stout calls “this desert freak show.” Left of Center is open Wed.-Fri. 12-4p, Sat. 10a-3p.

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Through Oct. 26

Like many Hollywood celebrities, triple threat Debbie Reynolds had a Las Vegas era. Hers began in 1962, when she moved here (in part to escape her bruising divorce from Eddie Fisher, who was having an affair with Elizabeth Taylor) for a residency at the Riviera Hotel and Casino. The move also gave Reynolds time to regroup with her children. The exhibition The Persona. The Person: Debbie Reynolds in Las Vegas explores both the public and private sides of the star’s sojourn in the city of second chances. The Grand Gallery is open Mon.-Thurs. 9a-5p.

Through Oct. 31

Born in Reno, artist Mark de Salvo gravitated to punk rock and skate culture when, like many of his peers in the community, he felt alienated by mainstream society. Following formal training in San Francisco, he made his passions his profession, creating iconic album covers for bands including Miss Vincent, NOFX, Tony Sly, Track Five and others, as well as doing design for skateboard companies. The Mark de Salvo exhibition brings together the best of this work, with a selection of signed and numbered limited edition prints for sale.

Through Nov. 1

For the second time, the City of Las Vegas collaborated with the Consulate of Mexico to create an exhibition highlighting emerging artists. This year’s theme is celebration, and it attracted works exploring everything from fireworks to migration. One of the 19 artists who contributed will win a $500 Best of Show prize. The Mayor’s Gallery at the Historic Fifth Street School is open Mon.-Fri. 8:30a-5:30p.

Nov. 3

One of UNLV’s biggest crowd-pleasers, the annual Art Walk is a campus-wide open house, where the public gets to see all kinds of exhibitions and performances up close and in person. The university’s galleries all typically open for the event, allowing visitors to take in a wide range of works, chat with artists and curators, and meet fellow art lovers in the community. And of course, they can enjoy refreshments and fun activities along the way.

Nov. 3-Jan. 29

Las Vegas arguably wouldn’t exist without developments in mass national transit. This photography and memorabilia exhibition, Desert Skyways: 75 Years of Clark County Aviation, looks at air travel, which has played a critical role in the city’s growth as an international tourism hotspot. Staged at the Clark County Museum, its companion pictorial exhibit will be on display at the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum in Terminal 1 of Harry Reid International Airport through Jan. 22. The airport exhibit is free to visitors and open 24 hours a day. Clark County Museum is open 9a-4:30p.

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Nov. 6-Dec. 21

For its winter exhibition, Home, Sweet Home, Clark County invites artists to reflect on home — be it a structural dwelling or something completely abstract. Images, in any medium, representing everything from an artist’s favorite childhood memory, to their ideal shelter from the elements, to their fantasy of a place where they feel totally welcome, will be included. The Rotunda Gallery is open Mon.-Thurs. 7:30a-5:30p.

Through Nov. 18

In the exhibition Faces of Hip Hop, painter Stephanie Amon brings together a selection of the portraits that have put her on the map, focusing on hip-hop artists in honor of the music’s 50-year anniversary. Amon’s oil-paint realism brings out her subjects’ emotions, a style that, she says, is meant to “inspire and motivate” those with dreams. The Studio at Sahara West Library is open Mon.-Thurs. 10a-8p, Fri.-Sun. 10a-6p.

Through Nov. 18

Art professor Daryl DePry’s Experience Outdoors: Landscapes in Paintings and Prints is influenced by his upbringing in Southern California, hiking the deserts and mountains with his mom. DePry focused on nature as a frequent subject in his drawing and printmaking for UNLV’s master of fine arts program and, after a foray into plein air oil painting, learned to incorporate printmaking into the excursions by using a small intaglio press in the bed of his pickup. This show, which brings together a collection of DePry's outdoors-made works, runs through Nov. 18 at CSN’s Fine Arts Gallery, open weekdays 9a-6p, Sat. 10a-4p.

Nov. 30-Jan. 24

Each year, Nevada Humanities — our state’s partner with the National Endowment for the Humanities — produces six curated in-person exhibitions at its Program Gallery in Las Vegas. This one brings northern perspectives south, presenting 13 artists’ interpretation of the Great Basin. Representing a mix of media, Between Earth & Sky: Exploring the Great Basin Through the Eyes of Northern Nevada Artists offers a range of takes on what this highly diverse landscape means to the diverse people who inhabit it. Nevada Humanities Program Gallery is open Tues.-Thurs. 1-4p, First Fri. 1-9p.

Through March 16

Imagine learning that your people were buried under a heap of waste. How could you process such contemptuous disregard? This question drove artist Jeannie Hua to develop Tailings. The mixed-media installation exposes the burial of Chinese Americans in Tonopah, outside the region’s official cemetery under an unmarked mound of tailings removed from local mines. It’s part of Hua’s larger exploration of the neglect of Asian Americans who helped settle the West. The show is on display in the museum’s Window Gallery, where, depending on the time of day, viewers may see their own reflection — an effect Hua says is an intentional part of the experience. Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is open Tues.-Sat. 10a-5p.

Desert Companion welcomed Heidi Kyser as staff writer in January 2014. In 2018, she was promoted to senior writer and producer, working for both DC and State of Nevada. She produced KNPR’s first podcast, the Edward R. Murrow Regional Award-winning Native Nevada, in 2020. The following year, she returned her focus full-time to Desert Companion, becoming Deputy Editor, which meant she was next in line to take over when longtime editor Andrew Kiraly left in July 2022.
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