Nora Ann-Francis Martin-Hall
Everything Must Go
Delicate pencil illustrations of tattooed silent film stars, rabbits smoking cigarettes and comic-book personas housed in gilded frames — artist Nora Ann-Francis Martin-Hall offers up a fictional parlor room of memorabilia in Everything Must Go.
Martin-Hall: “I wanted my second solo show to be a fun one, so I gave myself the freedom to draw whatever I wanted … unifying my eclectic inspirations with an extravagant art ‘super sale.’ All drawings are on vanilla cotton paper, paired with baroque frames that I gold-leafed and painted myself. I hunted like mad through 25 thrift shops and stores to get 40 gaudy frames. I was confronted with a fair amount of curious art, and had fun piecing together stories behind them.
“I found this round frame at a Goodwill in Orange County. Inside was a faded picture of Jesus knocking on a door, and on the back it said, ‘On the occasion of Mother and Dad’s 50th Wedding Anniversary, March 20th, 1912-1962.’ I thought, ‘Hey! My show runs through March!’ It was perfect, but I felt bad knowing I was going to end this frame’s history. So, in honor of ‘Mother and Dad,’ I named this piece “1912-1962,” and framed it with the original note inside … the title fits it well, and I’ll leave it to the viewer to decide if it’s a portrait of a long-deceased Miss Salina Kyle.”
303 North Studio, Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite 115; www.facebook.com/303NorthStudio
COLAB Exhibit and Lecture Series
The art of architectural design takes a seat at the First Friday table with COLAB’s new lecture series/exhibit of six cutting-edge architects: Lance O’Donnell, Matthew Trzebiatowski, James Richard, Luis Ibarra, Teresa Rosano, Hadrian Predock and Anne Mooney. Each architect presents visions through models and sketches for inspiring, atmospheric, meditative and sustainable modern design.
Trzebiatowski contended with the unsightly shell of a strip mall, transforming a yoga studio into a space of Zen: “[The project] Yoga Deva … creates an internal sequence of spaces whose primary impulse is to remove the visitor from the exterior visual environmental conditions in every way. … This new internal environment offers an architectural and sequential chiaroscuro to the external strip-mall type reality and prepares the visitor for practice of inward meditation and contemplation.
“Entry occurs in a space that is visually dark, in direct contrast to the common Arizona-exterior experience, and no visibility to any other space is offered. Terminating the long volume is an electric blue-pigmented wall washed in cool-toned light that invites you forward. In contrast to the entry space, the main studio space is flooded with daylight; the interplay of light is calming and ever-changing.”
COLAB, Art Square, 1025 S. 1st St., No.170; www.colablv.org
Eyez on Las Vegas
Colorful spray-paint and stencil works by St. Louis stencil artist Peat Wollaeger explore The Strip and gambling culture with custom-etched wooden playing cards and a 1970s portrait of Elvis. Each work is riddled and marked with Wollager’s signature “eyez” graphic.
Wollaeger: “When I think of Las Vegas, poker is obviously the first thing that comes to mind. I produced some large etched wooden playing cards and a series of oversized wood-carved poker chips adorned with my signature eye. Since I usually just work in stencils and spray paint, the etching turned out to be very time-consuming, but the final product was beyond my expectations. … The next thing I think of is Elvis, and not the classic ’50s Elvis, but the ’70s, pork-chops-and-gold-glasses Elvis. So I created a portrait of ‘The King’ in my signature style with the ‘EYEZ’ adorning his flashy jumpsuit.”
Get Up Gallery, Emergency Arts, 520 Fremont St.; www.getupgallery.com
Sandy Smith and Ernst Fischer
The Nihilist’s Spa
Existential thought goes head to head with the jelly of microcosmic reality in an exhibit of New York artists Sandy Smith and Ernst Fischer. Do the results create a metaphysical wasteland or a theoretical epiphany?
Smith: “You are catching us, so to speak, in the middle of a game of chess. Or is it yoga? In a way, we are united only in what we are not and, similarly, our art aims to undermine the very premises it explores. Our exhibition represents a coming-up-for-air during a conversation that has been going on for a good two years.
“If art is to happen where what is thought and what is not thought, [if] what has sense and what has none finds a common playground, we must, for generosity’s sake, allow for the possibility that nothing might happen. … Hence The Nihilist’s Spa: an off-duty playground for the nihilist to find meaning, and a resort for those who have too much meaning to lose some weight.”
Brett Wesley Gallery, 1112 S. Casino Center Blvd.; www.brettwesleygallery.com