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[14 to Watch in 2014]

Alisha Kerlin, Art-World Independent

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Artist Alisha Kerlin has upcoming solo runs at MCQ Fine Art and the Clark County Government Center.

The narrative plays out time and again: A young artist grows up anywhere that isn’t someplace, works hard and dares to dream. Making her way to the Big City armed with talent and the will to succeed, she slowly but surely manages to score some high-profile shows and swelling support for her work.

Then, you know, she moves to Las Vegas.

In 2012, then-NYC-based Alisha Kerlin came to participate in UNLV’s Artist-in-Residence program and fell in love, relocating to Vegas in March of that year. Since then, the scant opportunities to see her work have been nothing short of tantalizing.

2014 changes everything. With Marking Territory—her current residency at P3Studio at the Cosmopolitan—and upcoming solo runs at MCQ Fine Art and the Clark County Government Center, Kerlin’s low profile is slipping away. Working primarily in paint, the artist’s gorgeously sly observations on the condition of the viewer and the practice of art-making are also realized in photographic and sculptural form.

So why on earth, after shows at Zach Feuer Gallery and MoMA’s PS1 in New York, would Kerlin subvert the prescribed art career trajectory and cast her bets on the desert? “After being in Las Vegas for eight weeks I needed more time here, because it is the weirdest, most interesting, supportive and easiest to live and let live place I have ever been, and that is good for my work. And there should be no normal expected professional artist trajectory.” She’s a perfect fit.

NEXT: Sabriel, Rising Songstress

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