Emotions, art forms cross in ‘Music of Life’ exhibit

John Trimble loves music, and he loves visual art. And in his exhibit on display at the West Las Vegas Arts Center Community Gallery, he brings these two aspects of the arts together.

“I think the two go hand in hand,” Trimble said. “Both are art forms that it takes a lot of practice to do. It takes a lot of discipline and a lot of time and effort to perfect your craft.”

But Trimble said it’s not just what goes into both music and art, but what comes out of people because of them, that’s common ground.

“I believe they both bring emotions out of you,” he said. “The music brings out emotions when you hear it — puts you in different moods and such. I believe art does the same thing, with art being more visual. Whether it be political, social, emotional or spiritual, I think art definitely talks to a person. They do convey in different ways.”

Trimble’s exhibit, “The Music of Life,” centers on his interpretations, through the use of media including pastels, colored pencil, acrylics and charcoals, of jazz, primarily.

“Jazz, for me, is very smooth, very sensual; it brings out those certain emotions,” he said. “I think jazz can sometimes bring out emotions that other music can’t. Jazz is the one music that people usually don’t find annoying or too overwhelming. The most that you’ll hear (negative) about jazz is that it’s elevator music.

“These are the emotions that I try to get out of the jazz — what it does for me. When I convey jazz on a canvas or a piece of paper, I want the viewer to have the same feeling as when they listen to it.”

Lisa Russell, cultural specialist at the West Las Vegas Arts Center, chooses the works that will be exhibited. She said the center usually has four exhibits a year, lasting between six and eight weeks each. Trimble’s exhibit, which opened Feb. 12, continues through March 29. (A meet-the-artist reception is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at the center at 947 W. Lake Mead Blvd. It’s free and open to the public.)

“We just want to give artists an opportunity to share their work with others in the community as long as it’s tasteful and it’s not offensive in any way,” Russell said. “I wouldn’t say we look for any particular type. We have had people do a range of things. Every artist has their own style and they see things in their own ways artistically.”

While many of the exhibiting artists have been African-American because of the center’s location in historically black West Las Vegas, she said many have not, including artists from Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. While most of the artists have been local, she said some have been from out of state.

Russell said she was particularly taken with Trimble’s work.

“I loved the colors of his exhibit and the images,” she said. “They’re very sleek and elegant. They look like something you’d want to put in a formal room.”

Trimble said the jazz-related works are just one aspect of his art. He’s a native of Los Angeles, and one of his pieces is called “L.A. Dreaming.”

“It’s a picture of me basically looking over the L.A. horizon,” he said. “Living there, I’ve seen a lot of stuff. I lived through riots and some other stuff — good and bad — but the overall feeling I have toward L.A. is that there’s a lot of culture.

“That’s what I believe Las Vegas is becoming. Over the 17 years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen this city grow into more of a cultural city — not only a place where you gamble and you go to the clubs. There’s more of a cultural thing as far as the food and the art. It is coming. It’s slowly coming, but it’s coming. I want people to get that culture that I missed in L.A. for so long.”