Scrambled Eggs Is Working With a Whole New Palette
Manny Muñoz moves the needle on community art
AS A MARIACHI GROUP plays, a crowd spills out of UNLV Grant Hall Gallery into the space outside to enjoy the music, holding plates of food from Chef Loui. Others remain inside the gallery, looking at art and buying zines. Scrambled Eggs has done it again: a unique reception to open a pop-up exhibition, this time gathering artists previously shown in solo exhibitions into one group show. It solidifes Scrambled Eggs’ status as true artist collective.
It began in March 2022 in Emmanuel “Manny” Muñoz’s 200-square-foot downtown studio, which he rented initially to work on art projects and freelance architecture gigs in his free time. Next door was a studio run by Monika Chaney, who hosted mixers where Muñoz met other artists and creative people.
“I began to think that maybe I could put together some sort of pop-up art show for them and use my space for something more than just my own projects,” Muñoz says.
After a UNLV architecture class one day, Muñoz called Brian Martinez about his idea for a pop-up exhibition of Martinez’ work in Muñoz’s studio. Martinez agreed, and the first Scrambled Eggs exhibition was born.
After Martinez, Scrambled Eggs hosted solo exhibitions featuring the work of Isaac Quezada, Sarah Robles, Daisy Sanchez, Abigail Rivera Ramirez, and Alexys Keller. As the project grew into a collective, other artists joined these original members, contributing organizational, marketing, and design skills.
Scrambled Eggs stands out in the Las Vegas art scene as one of few BIPOC artist-run spaces with a focus on early career artists. “A lot of the artists I started working with early on were working out of their bedrooms,” Muñoz says. “A lot of them still are.”
Those involved in the collective love how it allows them to develop creatively. “I joined Scrambled Eggs because it gave me, a minority, a voice in the art community,” photographer Sarah Robles says. “I would’ve never had the opportunity to show my work if it wasn’t for Scrambled Eggs.”
Artist Abigail Rivera Ramirez praises the creative freedom artists have. “It feels like you can breathe working with them — there’s never any pressure or cost. They really care about giving space to artists in the community.”
The collective is focused on building community, not just within the arts, but also in the rest of Las Vegas. Geovany Uranda, curator and artist, says, “I feel like the relationships we have made and the projects we’re actively working on will make Vegas a better place for artists and art enjoyers … and hopefully the entire populace.”
While remaining dedicated to the local community, Scrambled Eggs has its eye on projects outside the Las Vegas Valley as well. The group exhibition, Hija/e/o/x(s) de Su-, curated by Uranda and Cesar Piedra in collaboration with the Holland Project in Reno and Nuwu Art Gallery + Community Center in Vegas, reflects on life in a Latina(-e/-o/-x) households and features artists from both Southern and Northern Nevada.
As a small collective, money is always a concern for the group, because their events and projects are self funded. However, Muñoz keeps things positive. “If anything, having limited resources leads us to think creatively about how we organize exhibitions and collaborate with other groups in Nevada.”
Discussing Las Vegas specifically, Muñoz says there’s a lot of energy in the local art scene, especially among younger people, that not everyone is aware of. “There’s always buzz coming from places like Downtown and events like First Friday, but it’s not the only place where art is happening,” he says.
Uranda seconds that. “Las Vegas has the artists and culture to turn into a big arts hub,” he says. “We just need more eyes looking at us and not just the Strip.” — Tracy Fuentes
Hija/e/o/x(s) de Su, through Dec. 7, Nuwu Art Gallery Thurs.-Fri. 4-8p, and Sat. 12-4p, free, nuwuart.com