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Art comes in many forms and can serve many purposes.

It can convey emotion, it can inspire and it can beautify.

It can also send a message.

Left of Center Gallery is celebrating works that take a step beyond “art for art’s sake” and focus on social awareness and activism.

A set of exhibits on display now features guest artists from California with pieces about topics like drought and the prison system.

Left of Center Gallery is displaying "Troubled Water", "Transformations" and "Behind Bars," three exhibits by the Los Angeles based printmaking collective Los de Abajo, through January 9. There will be an artist workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a closing reception from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the final day.

Los de Abajo uses graphic expression as a way to shake up consciousness, addressing social problems prevalent in our society today. The group takes their name from the novel "Los de Abajo," about the Mexican Revolution of 1920.

Left of Center Gallery director Vicki Richardson told KNPR's State of Nevada the reasoning behind inviting out-of-state artists is to inspire local artists. 

Richardson said it's important to see what artists in other parts of the country are doing because it "inspires and motivates" them, keeping them from getting "in a rut" creatively.

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A show going up January 19 will present a juried collection of social justice-themed works by Nevadans.

Richardson said she's seen art enlighten, inspire and change people's minds about social issues.  She says the dialogue art can open is very valuable.

Topics expected to be featured include immigration, incarceration, domestic violence, human trafficking and police officers' use of force against citizens.



Vicki Richardson, director/founder, Left of Center Gallery

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KNPR's State of Nevada
KNPR's State of Nevada
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