Erika Allison's Artastic Blog

Breaking the rules… or not

Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

An Art-Filled Saturday

Posted Friday, July 9th, 2010

Tomorrow will be an art-filled day for me. I always enjoy art-filled days. That seems to be my goal:  fill ‘er up with art!

I will be at The Ortego Gallery, Las Vegas, all afternoon. I have a show hanging during the month of July: “Unanswered Questions”. Preview Thursday and First Friday were last weekend. I thought it would be nice if I were there sometimes during the month so I’d be available to meet and talk with interested people. Artists who have their own galleries and show their work full-time are always there and available. So, I thought I’d try to be available part-time, at least.

In the evening I will be joining five other artists for Painters On The Patio. We will be painting live, outdoors, on the patio at Bar+Bistro. There will probably be diners on the patio, drinkers on the patio, bocce ball players at the bocce ball court – and, hopefully, interested observers watching us paint. It’s a great atmosphere for creating, night in the arts district.

I have been preparing for my busy day tomorrow. I have my art supplies ready to go, some already packed into my car. I’ve been having a lazy, enjoyable day – resting up for a long, busy day tomorrow.

Come on down to the arts district tomorrow if you are in town. There’s lots to see – including me!

Oh, boy!  Art shows take a lot of work!  All that creating …all that thinking about titles, planning, hauling the work to the gallery…  Whew!  It’s finally behind me …for this round.  My show, “Unanswered Questions”, is being shown at the Ortego Gallery in The Arts Factory, Las Vegas for the month of July.

The Las Vegas arts district has a First Friday event every month, preceded by a Preview Night the Thursday before.  Preview night is when a lot of the artists make their rounds to see what’s going on, the new exhibits, greet each other, etc.  It’s also the night that a lot of collectors like to make the rounds, in hopes of seeing the artwork better and meeting the artists.  First Friday is a continuation of galleries being open to exhibit artwork, but there are lots of other things going on as well.  It’s quite a festive evening.  People watching is great, as is the art viewing.

Here are a few photos from the event.

Tamara Watson and Erika Allison discussing her new work, "As If By Magic".

Tamara Watson and Erika Allison discussing her work, “As If By Magic”

Las Vegas Painter Brian Malpasso at the Arts Factory

Local Las Vegas artist, Brian Malpasso showing his paintings.

Carlos De Las Heras showing "The Planet Earth Award" series at First Friday Las Vegas.

Carlos De Las Heras showing paintings from his series “The Planet Earth Awards, Beyond Superstition”.

Now that the July events are behind me, it’s time to update mailing lists, post pictures and write blogs.  Then, it’s on to more creating, thinking about titles, planning…

Photos credit – Trillian

Show at Ortego Gallery

Posted Thursday, July 1st, 2010


I have been creating new paintings for my upcoming show at Ortego Gallery in Las Vegas.  I’m quite excited about it.  The Ortego Gallery is in The Arts Factory, in the arts district, where First Friday is a regular event.  There is also Preview Night on Thursday, when artists and serious collectors make the rounds.  The show will be up for the month of July.

Two of my new paintings were started at the First Annual Outdoor Paint-In.  A number of artists participated in that event.   So, those who saw my work that day may be surprised to see how different the works look after a couple more painting sessions in my studio.  Also included in the show will be a painting I started at the Paint-In at Place Gallery.

I am especially interested in texture.  So, I am always looking for new textures to explore and include in my work.  Come to the show and check out “As If By Magic”.  I’m keeping the new texture featured in this painting secret.  You’ll have to come to the show!  Let me know what you think!

Paintinplace gallery

Paint-ins seem to be becoming “the thing” in the Las Vegas arts community.  We had an outdoor group painting session in late spring.  Now, there’s a regular “Third Friday” paint-in at Place Gallery, organized and hosted by Gina Quaranto.  There is a nice, large area that works well for many artists to gather and work.  Many mediums and styles were represented.  There was painting in different media, sculpting, and a number of artists were working on their skate decks for LVSK8IV The Skate Deck Art Show

Creativity fills the air.  You can breathe it in and use it.  Artists are lost in what they are creating.  And, then, they may be wandering around checking out what other artists are doing.  I think the camaraderie is good for all.  An arts community is what keeps a lot, if not all, of us going.  We get support and encouragement, which is always needed.  We build friendships.  We try to give back in the ways that we can.

It takes some effort to haul all the needed supplies for painting somewhere other than your own studio.  But, it can be worth it.  Group painting offers some things we don’t get alone, holed up in our studios, which is our natural habitat.  Aside from the camaraderie, you also get some publicity of sorts.  It may just be word-of-mouth, someone who stopped in to watch mentioning they’d watched you paint.  Or, it may be a possible collector who has seen your work on exhibit, who now gets to see you working.  You’d be surprised how many people are fascinated by seeing an artist at work.  Keep in mind that this is totally foreign to most people who are not artists.  It may seem humdrum and everyday to you because that IS your life.  You do it almost by rote.  But, to the layman it may be magic.  And, don’t forget, collectors and all buyers are buying a piece of the artist.  Meeting you, seeing you in action, talking to you about your work or your methods, all provide fodder for the collector’s interesting story for his friends.  Also, connecting with the other artists can be worthwhile beyond just the friendship and camaraderie.  The artists here in Vegas are generous with their support of each other.  Your name might come up when there’s an exhibition opportunity.  And, last, but not least – it’s good to get out of your studio and participate in life!  You need ideas for your work, life experiences!  You need to fill the well!

Here is my painting after the session at Third Friday Paint-In.  I will work on it more in my studio and post a picture when it’s completed.


Have you painted with a group?  Do you enjoy it?  What benefits or pitfalls do you find in painting with others present?

I love Las Vegas artists!  They are so vibrant, enthusiastic, generous, helpful…and full of great ideas.  There’s always a new idea, a new event, something to keep the arts district in motion and in the news. 

This new event, First Annual Open Air Painting Day, should be fun for the artists.  It’s great for camaraderie.  It’s a good opportunity to get to know your fellow artists a little better.  And, it’s always cool to be able to watch other artists at work.  That’s not always something you get to see!  It will be an opportunity to share tips and anecdotes.  Who knows, you may even accomplish something!  And, the public is invited, of course.  Anyone can come watch the artists at work (and play).

I have been in Las Vegas for three years now.  I felt welcomed from my first venture into the arts district – attending First Friday.  I have found the artists here to be generous in offering opportunities, in helping when help is needed and being generally supportive of each other.  All are interested in growing the arts district.  When there’s a charitable cause, you can count on the artists to pitch in and donate time, talents, paintings.  And, the most enduring quality is their willingness to support and promote each other.  It’s not just ME, ME, ME.  It’s “Check out this artist’s work”.  So, the painting day is yet another opportunity for all artists – and another event to keep the arts district in the news. 

This event is sponsored by Place Gallery and PeaceN’art Studio.  Tents to protect us from Las Vegas’ fierce sun are being provided by The Arts Factory.  What a nice collaboration in the spirit of offering an opportunity for all!  Thank you, Gina, Alex and Wes!

Call For Entries!

The CAC 21st Annual Juried Show - Call for Artwork

The Contemporary Arts Center of Las Vegas, a non-profit arts organization, is calling for submissions to their 21st Annual Juried Show.

“This year marks the first national call for entries to the juried exhibition, as we broaden the scope of the work and support our mission to connect with fellow artists within and beyond our own community.”

For the first time they will be accepting digital entries in order accommodate a larger spectrum of entries and to “encourage trans-disciplinary artists to expand their potential entries for jury consideration”.

If you are interested in submitting, visit their members’ site events page for guidelines and entry forms at

According to their site & flyer, the ‘Best of Show’ award is $1500, with second and third place prizes of $750 and $500, respectively.

The deadline for digital submissions is March 1st, 2010!

Contact information for the CAC is listed below:

The Contemporary Arts Center
107 E. Charleston, Suite 120
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12-5 and by appointment

Some of my latest works of art will be featured at the upcoming showcase at LeMur Gallery. The opening reception will be on Thursday, February 4th from 7 – 10 pm.

“Distant Early Warning”

Distant Early Warning

“Distant Early Warning” will be amongst the paintings in my show “Twists and Turns” at Le Mur Gallery inside The Arts Factory.

There will be a Preview Night Thursday,  December 3rd, 2009 from 6-10 pm.
Also enjoy visiting on First Friday, December 4th.

The show runs through December 26th.

Le Mur is located upstairs in The Arts Factory at:

107 E. Charleston Blvd., Studio 110
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 731-1414


Click here for a listing of my current and upcoming shows and exhibits.