Art at the Market Brings Gorgeous Work to a Beautiful Day
LAS VEGAS, NV — It was a gorgeous, sunny springtime Saturday afternoon and a perfect day to spend outdoors when a fine art and craft show descended on the farmer’s market to create Art at the Market (as seen in photo 1). Sponsored by the City of Las Vegas, and produced as a collaboration between Las Vegas Farmers Market and Mark Vranesh Studio, the show and sale at Bruce Trent Park in the heart of Summerlin offered quite the smorgasbord of uniquely artistic items.
The partnership’s mission is to enhance the Las Vegas fine art scene and offer regular exhibiting opportunities to local and regional artists, says Ginger Johnson, show producer and co-founder of Las Vegas Farmers Market LLC.
“The Las Vegas Farmers Market produces a variety of artists, crafters, culinary artists, candle makers, fused glass, sculptures, glass blowers, coffee roasters, scented items, soap makers and jewelry makers that continue to emerge into the art scene,” Johnson explains. Some examples of the art styles featured were “Metal art, oils, watercolors, glass, pottery, photography, book illustration, jewelry and fiber art.”
The first booth that attracted my attention was Nature’s Light Photography by Chuck Siefert Jr. (as seen in photo 2). I found it hard to believe that the brilliant and sometimes surreal colors in his photos were not retouched or enhanced, but he explained that he works with light and will wait for the exact right moment to capture a sunrise (as seen in photo 3). The lifelong photographer has been showing his work for over 15 years, and he prints and mounts the work on canvas in limited editions so they look very much like photorealistic paintings (as seen in photos 4-5).
Another artist with striking work was Glenn Hinz (as seen in photo 6), who makes traditional Sonoran and Southwestern copper relief wall art. A professional artist for over 40 years, he started working in copper more than three decades ago when he was commissioned to do a similar piece — and he’s been turning out the copper art ever since (as seen in photo 7). He hammers and tools the metal to get the bas relief effect, and then uses chemicals or heat to color them. To get the vibrant turquoise shades, he is essentially speeding up the natural oxidation process by using a cupric chloride patina; he usually does 5 or 6 applications, waiting several hours in between each coat.
Taking metal work in a slightly different direction was Ramon A. Velasquez (as seen in photo 8) of Amigo Metal and Iron Work, who makes various sized sculptures and wall hangings out of 24-guage metal, with melted brass and copper accents. He paints them with weatherproof automobile paint, and can make pieces up to 12 feet in diameter. He also makes furniture out of stainless steel tubing and Talavera tile, and coats them in marine varnish — the type used on boats — to make them rugged for outdoor use (as seen in photo 9).
Working with a more fragile medium, Dan Craciunescu and David Litt (as seen in photo 10) of World Glass Design make fused and cast glass pieces. They have both functional works, like coasters and glass bowls (as seen in photo 11) and decorative art for the wall or shelf (as seen in photo 12). Litt says the big trick when working with glass of this size is staging the cool-down process, which can take up to a week in the kiln… and during that time no other pieces can be made.
Among the jewelry displays, one that jumped out as completely different from the norm was by Sonia Lee Pacheco (as seen in photo 13). She’s been making recycled jewelry since 1985, and her patented WineWear™ line, in particular, offers a cool combination of fun, funky and fashionable (as seen in photo 14). The pieces are made from recycled wine corks and pure pewter, and while making a statement are very lightweight and easy to wear — even the earrings (as seen in photo 15).
In addition, Pacheco makes Watchlets™, which are interchangeable watch faces that can be mixed and matched with beaded bracelets (as seen in photo 16).
Another gorgeous display was jewelry-inspired tableware Table Tops Unlimited by Deb McGroarty (as seen in photo 17). Her flatware is all 18-10 stainless steel so they don’t tarnish, and she hand wraps them with wire, glass, crystal and natural beads for a culinary dream that can be custom made to match your kitchen, wedding colors, and more (as seen in photo 18).
This entire show was very visually appealing, with top-quality artists and artisans showing their work. In fact, it was so good that I had a very hard time just focusing on a few.
Several arts and crafts shows run throughout the year, with additional Art Walks by Mark Vranesh. The schedule of events and artist applications for upcoming shows can be downloaded at http://www.vranesh.com.
All photos © Heather Vale Goss, The Unwrapper LLC.