Artist Erin Stellmon looks at Downtown changes in new exhibit at Trifecta Gallery

Erin Stellmon’s “Run to the Hills”

Erin Stellmon's "The Ogden"

The Details

Reinventing the West
Through April 26
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (First Friday until 10 p.m.); Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; free
Trifecta Gallery, 366-7001
Opening reception April 4, 6-9 p.m.

Las Vegas, famous for its outlandishly transformative nature, compliantly rolls onto its back for the visionaries who build atop its landscape with fistfuls of cash in one hand and an eraser in the other.

Heave-ho. Pillage away. There’s nothing here but the next best thing, the next big idea, the “this-could-be-something-else” notion booming from the mouths of developers and community makers who mistake life in the Valley for a blank-slated environment desperate to be transformed. New pioneers step off the proverbial train with a sense of ownership before their feet even hit the ground.

So when Erin Stellmon titles her new Trifecta Gallery exhibit Reinventing the West,, we know exactly what’s she’s talking about. Transformation and reinvention have been ongoing themes in the Las Vegas artist’s work, and the fact that she builds her collages out of mixed media is all the more fitting considering the subject. Her handiwork is visible in the clashing (and melding) of the past and present, as she builds her landscapes with plastic, glitter, photographs, patterned material and paper.

In Reinventing the West, Stellmon steps away from the Strip—the focus of her Reign of Glass exhibit in 2010—to tackle the similar narrative playing out in the rest of the community, from Downtown to the outlying areas. The dynamic patterned work incorporates the rubble of history to tell an ever-compelling story of a city built by a revolving door of pioneers.

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Kristen Peterson

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