Fine Art

Artist Nancy Good opens a gallery and studio to fill an underserved niche

Nancy Good poses with her work, “Even Dissonance Creates Beautiful Music,” at Core Contemporary.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

A light-filled sanctuary to the arts is hidden in a back corner of the historically quirky Commercial Center district on Sahara. The 3,000-square-foot second-story oasis, in the New Orleans Square building, belongs to artist and musician Nancy Good, who says, “It’s my happy place.”

Good saw a hole in the art market: There are tiny studio-galleries in spots like the Arts Factory and there are major fine art galleries on the Strip, but not much in between. Established, mid-career artists have few options in Las Vegas. “I am hoping to bridge the gap between existing galleries and the city’s hopes for a full-fledged art museum,” Good says. The gallery’s mission is to show “high-quality contemporary art of all mediums.”

She debuted the gallery space—called Core Contemporary—in May with Sin City Gallery’s popular international juried exhibition, 12 inches of Sin. The current exhibition features Good’s own large-format, kaleidoscopic take on photos she took at Burning Man, titled See, Touch & Go Dream: The Burning Tapestries. “As a full-time, working artist, I also need places to exhibit,” Good says. “I only plan to do one or two large exhibitions of my work in the gallery per year.”

True to her word, Core Contemporary’s next show, opening September 28, will feature artist Robby Martin, aka Biscuit Street Preacher. “It’s got a ferocity to it,” Good says of Martin’s work. “There’s all these candy colors that you want to bite right into, then you realize that [it’s] going to bite you back.”

For the December slot, Good is finalizing the contract for a group art show. For 2019, she’s planning both invitational and juried shows, along with a few collaborative shows that would pair together complementary artists—for example, an established photographer with an MFA student whose art vibes with the more experienced artist.

Good plans to make Core Contemporary more than a gallery. She also sees it as an event space—hosting classes, lectures, artist talks and even the odd office holiday party. Case in point: Core Contemporary recently hosted Dissonance, an edgy performance art piece by Clarice Tara Cuda.

Good has already launched a monthly informal art discussion session called [email protected] that she says “will foster and grow stronger relationships within our arts community and the city at large.” The next session, which is free and open to the public, takes place September 19.

Core Contemporary is also Good’s own studio. Divided from the rest of the room by a painter’s drop cloth and a rolling art supply cart, her space faces the corner, where two walls of windows meet. It’s the brightest spot in a bright room, and she has a view overlooking the Las Vegas Country Club. An in-progress mixed-media collage rests on a large easel. It’s brightly colored and slightly wild, unlike her neat, ordered and symmetrical images on display. Words on the painting spell out the phrase, “Even dissonance helps create beautiful music.”

Core Contemporary Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tuesday, by appointment. 900 E. Karen Avenue #D-222, 702-805-1166.

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