Settlers and Nomads is a collaborative work in progress that serves as a point of access to a network of contemporary artists, thinkers and projects with ties to Las Vegas, Nevada. The “Settlers” live and work in Las Vegas, while the “Nomads” have roots elsewhere. Most of the nomads are friends and colleagues who lived in Vegas at an earlier point and time, while others were just stopping through. All have glitter and dust on their boots and have been influenced or inspired in some way by this unique place we call home or pit stop, drawn to Las Vegas’ visual and cultural history and context and the surrounding southwestern landscape, Dave Hickey’s “the bottom of the sky.” In addition to linking to artists’ websites or blogs, the site also serves as a shout out to contemporary art spaces, projects and other cultural destinations and websites we’re fond of or involved with. We offer curated studio visits and welcome collaborations with other artists and organizations. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter sharing writing, images, exhibition and event listings here. Follow our Instagram page, curated by Mikayla Whitmore and guest artist-curators here.
Publisher WENDY KVECK is an artist, educator and curator who has lived and worked in Las Vegas for nineteen years. Please share inquiries, links, news, or Las Vegas art history with firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUDREY BARCIO is an interdisciplinary artist working with the questions surrounding the human condition. Her work has been published in “New American Paintings,” and she has exhibited in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. She relocated to Chicago in 2016 after earning her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
CATHERINE BORG is an artist who lived in Las Vegas from 2004-2011. She currently lives and works in Baltimore, MD with husband Stephen Hendee and cats Jack and Sissy, who were born under their house in Las Vegas.
MARK BRANDVIK has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe including the recent ‘Top Ten Now’ Los Angeles, ‘Volume Control’ at VAST Space Projects, ‘5,4,3,2,1’ at P3 Studio Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas and the upcoming ‘Contemporary Nevada: State of the State’ at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Included in New American Paintings, recognized in Las Vegas Weekly as Best of 2014 for Narrative Sculpture, and the recipient of several grants, commissions, and residencies. In addition to his art practice, Brandvik has taught art at the college level since 1997 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the College of Southern Nevada. The artist lives and maintains a studio in downtown Las Vegas.
MARC DOMBROSKY is an artist, educator and curator. Solo exhibitions have been held at Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Clark County Government Center, Las Vegas, NV and Platform Gallery, Seattle, WA. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Craft Alliance, St. Louis, MO; Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA; Gregg Museum of Art and Design, Raleigh, NC; and Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA. He is currently Chair of the Department of Visual & Performing Arts and Gallery Director at Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac, MI. His work is represented by Platform Gallery in Seattle.
ANDREANA DONAHUE is an interdisciplinary artist from Chicago; she’s a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s BFA program and also studied Advanced Painting at Temple University (Rome, Italy). Donahue has organized and shown work in group and solo exhibitions in Chicago, California, Nevada, and Alaska. Her project-based practice engages a wide range of media, but always reflects an ongoing investigation of simulacra and the use of elaborate processes to transform humble materials. Her site-specific installations highlight connections between outwardly unrelated narratives and disciplines, creating a hybrid lexicon. Heavily informed by location, her objects reference vanishing regional traditions while transmitting a sense of superstition, loss, and longing. Donahue is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a 2015 Puffin Foundation Grant, 2015 Harnisch Foundation Grant, and 2014 Vermont Studio Center Artist Grant/Residency. She is the co-founder of Disparate Minds.
SHANNON EAKINS lives and works in Eau Claire, MI. Her projects address mammalian behavioral models, fear-based targets, and our shared, societal distance to nature. She received her MFA from University of Nevada Las Vegas in May 2012, and her work has been exhibited widely across the US, including projects for Tacoma Art Museum, Krasl Art Center (St. Joseph, MI), The Marjorie Barrick Museum (Las Vegas, NV), and Gallery Homeland (Portland, OR).
JUSTIN FAVELA is a Las Vegas native working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and performance. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts from UNLV and has participated in exhibitions Las Vegas and across the United States. His work draws from art history, popular culture and his heritage. As co-founder of the popular podcast Latinos Who Lunch, Favela is an experienced debater and raconteur with a serious interest in the refraction of identity politics through the lenses of pop culture and current events. Favela’s art is a celebration of his life as a Nevadan of Guatemalan/Mexican heritage. His work is currently featured in the group exhibition “Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place” at the Denver Art Museum. His sculpture Gypsy Rose Piñata, on view at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles through July 2018, was recently written about in the LA Times and the New York Times. Justin is a blog contributor and the original curator of the Settlers + Nomads Instagram page.
DANIEL HABEGGER was born in 1958 in Basel Switzerland. He lived and worked in Berlin 1984-94 and in New York 1983, 1994-96, where he was awarded an artist residency fellowship from MOMA P.S.1 1994-95. He has lived and worked in Las Vegas, Nevada since 1996.
DANIELLE KELLY is an artist and writer now based in Chicago. Kelly’s project-based practice ranges from installation to performance and has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Los Angeles, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Portland,OR. Kelly’s writing has appeared in a variety of publications regionally including Las Vegas Weekly and Desert Companion. A former Las Vegas resident, she currently serves as Executive Director for Surface Design Association.
ALISHA KERLIN is a painter who is heavily influenced by usage sentences in dictionaries. Examples of past subject matters include the dangling carrot (or cookie), the lost solitaire game, circling vultures, a measuring tape reaching towards the horizon, and the fallen tree. She has exhibited at MoMA PS1, Zach Feuer, Real Fine Arts, La Montagne, P3Studio, and numerous other venues. Kerlin relocated to Las Vegas in 2012, where she is the Interim Director at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art at UNLV.
LAURA NAPIER is an artist and independent curator living and working in Houston, Texas. Her work explores behavior, sociology, and place through documentation, installation, and participatory and collaborative performance. In 2010, she staged a performance on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, part of the Contemporary Arts Center’s “Off the Strip New Genres Festival.”
EMMANUEL ORTEGA is a Curator and a Doctoral Candidate in Ibero-America colonial art history from the University of New Mexico. He also is an Adjunct Instructor at the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Since 2007 he has investigated images of violence in the Novohispanic context. For his master’s thesis Ortega investigated images involving autos-de-fe organized by the Novohispanic inquisition. For his recent Ph.D. dissertation, Ortega researched visual representations of the New Mexico Pueblo peoples in Novohispanic Franciscan martyr paintings. He has contributed several entries for the Khan Academy website and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies online bulletin. He has presented his work in the XXXVI Annual Colloquium of Art History organized by the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, 2012, the College of Art Association and American Studies Association in 2015.
KRISTEN PETERSON is an award-winning writer living in Las Vegas, Nevada, covering art in Las Vegas for more than 15 years at the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly while freelancing for publications such as Desert Companion, Vegas magazine and The Guardian.
KRYSTAL RAMIREZ’s multidisciplinary practice alternates between drawing, installation and photography. Her sculptural work is created through a process that combines craft, minimalism and accomplished by repetition and labor intensive manual fabrication. Influences are drawn from Art History, Semiotics and her Chicanx identity. She received her BFA from UNLV and has exhibited work at the Contemporary Arts Center, Donna Beam Gallery of Fine Art and the Nevada Art Museum. Recent Las Vegas projects and group exhibitions include her installation “I Want to See,” ” Tilting the Basin: Contemporary Art of Nevada,” and “Gracias – Thank You – Have a Nice Day.”
JK RUSS is a New Zealand-born artist and curator who relocated to Las Vegas in 2010. Based downtown, she enjoys being walking distance from galleries, cafes and live performance venues and is often seen with camera in hand, documenting local arts events.
DANIEL SAMANIEGO lives and works in San Francisco. His hyper-detailed drawing installations are a meditation on queer persona. He received his BFA in Painting and Drawing in 2007 from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and an MFA in Painting in 2011 from the San Francisco Art Institute. Samaniego has been an Artist in Residence at the Vermont Studio Center (2014). His project THE FILE, featuring studio visits, conversations and issues in new painting and drawing, is a regular feature on the blog.
AARON SHEPPARD works between mediums and is represented by Western Projects in Los Angeles where he was featured in a two-person exhibition with Carol Caroompas last year. Other recent projects include 2016 performance and audio works created in collaboration with artists Johanna Wagner and Karolina Sulich at Project Raum – Pool in Karlsruhe, Germany, and a solo exhibition, performance and mural commission in Las Vegas this year. He lives and works in Joshua Tree, CA.
D.K. SOLE is an artist who picks up objects. Then she uses wire to fasten the objects together in small configurations. Afterwards she attaches these things to the wall, where they hang in a sort of galaxy or universe. Standing back she considers the ways in which space can be delineated. It is strange that there is a such a thing as space at all. Why should it exist? She has never stopped being surprised every time she thinks about it. To be able to pick up rubbish with her hands and move it through the air is astonishing. In Australia she studied at Deakin University and the Victorian College of the Arts but in neither instance was she involved in the field of Fine Arts. Currently she lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she works at the Marjorie Barrick Museum.
ERIN STELLMON is a multi-disciplinary artist from Oregon who lived in Las Vegas for more than a decade. Her community-focused practice explores local manifestations of transience, memory and reinvention. In mixed-media collage work she frequently emphasizes the visual fragmentation of her compositions in order to highlight the cycles of destruction and reinvention that she perceives are endemic to the Las Vegas municipality’s civic culture. She now lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.
LESLIE VENTURA is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly with a penchant for independent music, social issues and arts and entertainment. In 2016, she was awarded journalist of merit and best feature writing by the Nevada Press Association.
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