The artists of Goldwell Open Air Museum present a quirky, beautiful group show at Core Contemporary

“Can You See What I See?” by Mikayla Whitmore
Photo: Wade Vandervort

For Core Contemporary gallery’s On Board, curator and artist Nancy Good has summoned the creative talents of the Goldwell Open Air Museum’s board members and their partners. In essence, the show is a family reunion, bringing together the extraordinary community of artists that has made the desert museum a must-see for all true Nevadans.

“It’s a remarkable show, as I knew it would be,” Good says. “There’s all different types of art. Somehow, it all ties back to the desert that surrounds us, and it even [gives] little nods to Goldwell here and there.”

“Liminal Possibilities” by Joel Spencer

It just so happens that the Goldwell board members (and their partners) are a who’s-who of artistic talent: Suzanne Hackett-Morgan, Brent Holmes, Quindo Miller, Charles Morgan, Checko Salgado, Sierra Slentz, Joel Spencer, Richard Stephens and Mikayla Whitmore.

“I chose to curate this in a way that shines the light on the artists themselves as board members,” says Good, who has been a board member for eight years and whose striking mixed-media pieces are included in the show. “There’s plenty of familiarity with Goldwell itself.”

She calls On Board a sort of love letter to the desert. “It’s a prickly place, and it can be a dangerous place,” Good says. “It’s also an incredibly beautiful place.”

With such a wide range of artists comes a wide range of styles and media. Viewers will see oil paintings, ceramics, neon, performance, photography, video and more. “There’s some humor, there’s some quirky stuff,” Good says.

Whitmore’s “Can You See What I See?” embodies that humor and quirkiness. An abstracted sculpture of a clownish face hangs in front of a backdrop of blue sky. On the ground, a sculpture of a single flower grows from a patch of grass.

A grid of organic ceramic spheres by Slentz hangs on the wall. It’s an excerpt from her yearlong project of making one piece a day. The display resembles found art, or perhaps a collection of cool rocks—or sometimes, petrified puff pastries—picked up while wandering the desert. Fittingly, it’s called “Under the Desert Sky - Revisited.”

And speaking of desert collections, Salgado collected rusty pieces of desert refuse and turned them into a sort of sculptural wind chime. His piece, “Sana Rubigo,” is reminiscent of the weird and unusual things that people leave in the desert, a la Teakettle Junction in nearby Death Valley.

“Sana Rubigo” by Checko Salgado

In a similar vein, Spencer uses a rusted can as a base for a mystical, cloudlike sculpture. Titled “Liminal Possibilities,” his work captures the magical, open feeling of the Amargosa Desert. Or perhaps, it’s the Wild West version of Aladdin’s lamp.

Taking art beyond the visual, Miller presents a sound recording of electrical impulses that have been fed through plants to make synthesized plant sounds that are played on cassette loop. Cuttings of live plants accompany the piece.

The indoor show offers a very different—and much more convenient experience—than visiting the Goldwell Open Air Museum. But the two art experiences are spiritually connected. “It’s interpreting the desert through the eyes of people who love Goldwell,” Good says. Why not see them both?

On Board Through June 12; Wednesday-Friday, noon-4 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Artist reception May 22, 1 p.m. Core Contemporary, 900 E. Karen Ave. #D222, 702-805-1166, corecontemporary.com.

Meet the Museum

“The Last Supper” at Goldwell Open Air Museum

This 15-acre outdoor sculpture park resides a mere 120 miles north of Las Vegas, near the ghost town of Rhyolite. “It’s a very quirky place,” says artist, gallerist and longtime board member Nancy Good. First created in 1984, the Goldwell Open Art Museum features giant ghostly figures by Belgian artist Albert Szukalksi, such as “The Last Supper” and “Ghost Rider.” Other sculptures by additional artists have been added over the years, such as Hugo Heyrman’s “Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada,” which resembles a towering blonde figure made of giant pixels. In each piece, the expansiveness of the desert acts as a co-creator. Open 24/7, 1 Golden St., Beatty, 702-870-9946, goldwellmuseum.org

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