holiday-arts-guide2By Katherine Fernelius

The holiday season is in full bloom. The smell of pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas fill the air. People will be bustling about getting holiday shopping done. Homes will be filled with freshly baked cookies, holiday decor, little wrapped packages, excitement about new beginnings and most importantly, family. It is truly a great time of year.

So in the vein of the holidays, we decided to switch up our Holiday Arts Guide. A good friend of mine, Nori Alexander, who gives the best gifts, inspired the idea. Not because they are super expensive, and not because she’s spent months stressing over “the perfect gift.” The reason her gifts are the best are many: (1) She gives gifts that are usable, (2) they are always very unique and one of a kind, (3) you would never think to ask for these gifts and (4) her purchases support local artisans. Last year, Nori found a local sculptor and fell in love with her work, so for her holiday gifts, she bought centerpiece bowls, vases and other sculptures. Each piece was one of a kind and a piece of work that could be used in any home. Two years ago, Nori bought her gifts from a local knitter. Everyone got the softest mittens, scarves and hats.

Nori’s holiday tradition is one of my favorite new traditions. I know she will give something I couldn’t even imagine asking for. I know her gift to me represents our friendship, but it also represents her love of the arts by supporting them. I know that her gift to me, like our friendship, will be something that took heart and soul to create and to find. And as much as I may like iTunes cards or whatever else might be on my wish list, these gifts have been the gifts that I remember and cherish year after year.

Instead of featuring local galleries and exhibits, this arts guide will feature a sprinkling of local artisans to get to know them and their work. Maybe something will speak to you and you can start a new gift-giving tradition with your family and friends while supporting local artists and the art scene.

Jessica GalindoInterview: Jessica Galindo
Las Vegas Woman: What kind of art do you create?
Jessica Galindo: I am a self-taught fine artist, mostly contemporary abstract in genre, although I have a large heart collection I’ve been painting for years. I also have a “wearable art” line of accessories called Leather Couture by Jessica Galindo. It’s a line of handmade, painted and tooled leather wears that includes cuffs, bangles, rings, earrings, neckwear and clutches.

LVW: Who does your art appeal to?
JG: My art appeals to anyone who is a lover of it. I have lots of art merchandise that accompanies my fine art originals—there are journals, greeting cards, small prints and T-shirts with images of my art on it. I really want the artwork to be available for every price point. Leather Couture appeals to an art-impressed lady or gent who appreciates a bold statement, positive affirmations, being avant-garde, fashionable and a touch bohemian.

LVW: What is the price range of your work?
JG: Fine Art Original Works range from $15 to $300 plus, while Leather Couture ranges from $15-$150.

LVW: What brought you to Vegas?
JG: I am a third-generation Las Vegas native. I went away to college at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and came back to Vegas, and am so happy I did. I can’t wait to see all the growth that’s happening in our downtown arts district.

LVW: What are your thoughts on the Las Vegas arts scene?
JG: I am thrilled about its rapid growth, and I especially love that because it is a small town most of us here know one another. If we pool our resources and all work together, we can create magic. And that’s what’s happening; the arts scene is growing and getting better and better.

Contact Jessica and see her work at jessicagalindo.com and leather-couture.com.

susan rodriguez Interview: Susan Rodriguez
Las Vegas Woman: What kind of art do you create?
Susan Rodriguez: The kind of art that I create is vintage repurposed/restyled home decor. The art of the pieces varies from collections from a French country to an urban Parisian style.

LVW: Who does your art appeal to, generally speaking?
SR: It appeals to all age groups with various collections for men or women.

LVW: What is the price range of your work?
SR: All our pieces are all hand selected and one of kind, but they are affordable.

LVW: What brought you to Vegas?
SR: I came to Las Vegas 33 years ago to explore the opportunities that Nevada had when the town was still young in the food and beverage industry. My first love was always in antiques and creating those artistic, one-of-a-kind pieces.

LVW: What are your thoughts on the Las Vegas arts scene?
SR: It (has been) incredible to watch the growth of the art scene throughout the years, and I’m so happy to be part of that expansion. Las Vegas and Nevada are finally being recognized for our artists and art scene.

Contact Susan at susan_keepers@yahoo.com and see her work at finderskeepersnevada.etsy.com.

Natalya Interview: Natalya
Las Vegas Woman: What kind of art do you create?
Natalya: I am a designer of knitted and crocheted accessories as well as original patterns. My designs are mostly fashion accessories (hats, scarves, home shoes and arm and leg warmers), gadget accessories (tablet and smartphone cases) and kitchen accessories (cup cozies, apple cozies and coasters).

LVW: Who does your art appeal to, generally speaking?
N: I create my items for people who appreciate original, high-quality handmade items, from kids to adults of all ages. I like to use natural, eco- and vegan-friendly materials.

LVW: What’s the price range of your art?
N: My knitting/crocheting patterns start as low as $3 and prices go up to $350 for luxurious one-of-a-kind scarves. However, the average price points are between $20-$45.

LVW: What brought you to Vegas?
N: Do you know any other place in the world where you could drive from ancient petroglyphs in their natural environment to masterpieces of Claude Monet in just 30 minutes? I don’t.

LVW: What are your thoughts on the Las Vegas arts scene?
N: With so many people deciding to call Las Vegas their home, in addition to wonderful local artists, the Las Vegas arts scene is very vibrant and unique.

Contact Natalya at natalia1905@yahoo.com and visit her Etsy site at natalya1905.etsy.com.

petite peanut Interview: Petite Peanut
Las Vegas Woman: What kind of art do you create?
Petite Peanut: I create children’s accessories.

LVW: Who does your art appeal to, generally speaking?
PP: My art appeals to children, parents and even photographers.
LVW: What’s the price range of your art?
PP: $12-$80

LVW: What brought you to Vegas?
PP: Work actually brought me here.

LVW: What are your thoughts on the Las Vegas arts scene?
PP: The Las Vegas arts scene is eclectic, entertaining and fun!

Contact Petite Peanut at petitepeanutboutique@gmail.com and visit her Etsy shop at petitepeanut.etsy.com.

Dean 1Interview: Dean Aaron
Las Vegas Woman: What kind of art do you create?
Dean Aaron: Mostly I am known for my photography and jewelry, but I also enjoy painting, cooking and digital art.

LVW: Who does your art appeal to, generally speaking?
DA: I would like to think that anyone can relate to my painting and photography, but my jewelry line is focused toward the edgy rocker type.

LVW: What’s the price range of your art?
DA: My jewelry ranges from approximately $40-$300.

LVW: What brought you to Vegas?
DA: I came to Las Vegas in 2004 to attend University of Nevada, Las Vegas in my sophomore year. In 2007, I moved to Northern California only to return to Las Vegas in 2010 because I met a girl while visiting my parents.

LVW: What are your thoughts on the Las Vegas arts scene?
DA: The Las Vegas art scene is amazing to be apart of because it is growing exponentially every single day. It’s great to be a part of something that the people of Las Vegas perceive in such a positive light.

Contact Dean at dean@illuminatishop.com and visit illuminatishop.com to see more of his work.

Mary BethInterview: Mary Beth Heishman
Las Vegas Woman: What kind of art do you create?
Mary Beth Heishman: I make handmade jewelry (I Adorn U) and art; hand-carved bronze and sterling silver pendants, bracelets, earrings, and tie clips. Each of my “I Adorn U” pieces has a personal story. I am influenced by my environment: A desert landscape, highlighted by the twinkle of the Las Vegas skyline.

LVW: Who does your art appeal to, generally speaking?
MBH: My artworks/jewelry appeal to mostly women, although men love the aesthetics of the bullet necklaces/earrings.

LVW: What’s the price range of your art?
MBH: $25-$180

LVW: What brought you to Vegas?
MBH: My birth. I was born and raised here and just love, love being in my hometown. I’m an art teacher by day and a jewelry artist by night.

LVW: What are your thoughts on the Las Vegas arts scene?
MBH: The Las Vegas Arts Scene is growing, and I am so proud to have seen and been a tiny part of it since its infancy. Over 11 years ago, I attended and exhibited at First Fridays when it was just a handful of fellow artists. Now the arts scene is huge, and so many great galleries and artists are here. The art scene will continue to flourish with Zappos’ involvement with First Friday and the Downtown Project. It’s a big deal; we have internationally recognized artists like Amy Sol and Tim Bavington. I am proud to call Las Vegas home, and we are becoming known for more than entertainment and gaming.

Contact Mary Beth at mb@marybethsart.com and visit her shops at iadornu.etsy.com and zappos.com/i-adorn-u.

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