For Su Limbert and Sierra Slentz, their fate as collaborators might have been sealed four years ago when they first met during a teaching program. The two artists and art teachers, both living in Las Vegas, were working in eerily similar styles and themes. And both happened to be, as they say, in the “uncomfortable predicament of being seven months pregnant.”
From there they moved forward, often in step with one another: concurrent shows at Blackbird Studios; artist tents at First Friday and two collaborations on murals at the Winchester Cultural Center. This week they begin the highly coveted artist residency at Cosmopolitan’s P3Studio for a four-week interactive installation titled An Open-Ended Narrative, combining the common elements in their work.
Presented as a site-specific diorama, the fairy-tale-style installation takes us to a storybook world exploring real-life issues of home and safety through sculpture, ceramic objects and slip-cast figurines.
Universal symbols, packaged in seemingly playful works, merge the dark and haunting with the sweet and sentimental. A three-dimensional, 5-foot bear will be covered with a village of tiny houses and ceramic fragments, which guests are invited to create in the studio’s workshop. Painted woodcuts and collages cover the walls.
It’s another perfect pairing of Slentz, who received her MFA from UNLV in 2001 and teaches at Las Vegas Academy, and Limbert, a middle school art teacher whose past exhibits have included Into the Wild at Blackbird Studios and All Is Full of Love in CAC’s East Side Projects window.
While Slentz specializes in porcelain sculpture and jewelry, along with vintage ceramic casts and (in earlier work) dioramas, Limbert is known for her sculpture and jewelry made from ceramic and china dinner plates. Her narrative paintings used in installations allude to her love of vintage children’s books. In their varied work, both artists tap into themes of nature, nostalgia and contemporary life.
An Open-Ended Narrative Through July 12, Wednesday-Sunday, 6-11 p.m. (interactive workshop begins June 28). Cosmopolitan’s P3 Studio, 698-7000.