Mistinguett has been a dancer, a costume designer and a producer, and in the last five years, she has added artist to the mix.
All of her avocations revolve around one thing: showgirls.
“I started out as a dancer, and then I began doing choreography,” Mistinguett said. “I worked with producer Greg Thompson for 25 years, and when he shut down production (of two shows in Las Vegas), I started my own production company. I do shows mostly in the Sun City properties in town (Summerlin and Anthem.) They’ve got great stages.”
The mixed-media art she has been producing for the last five years sprang from her show design work.
“I had to make drawings for costume designs to help sell the show and produce the costumes,” she said. “I had a lot of drawings, and they had never really been seen beyond the people working on the production.”
She soon discovered that one of the best places for her to display and sell her work was hair salons, which is where northwest valley resident Shirley Brownstone saw the work.
“It was just a chance that I was even at that salon,” Brownstone said. “My aunt’s son usually takes her there, but he couldn’t a couple of times, and while I was waiting, I saw these beautiful paintings.”
Most of Mistinguett’s work begins as marker drawings on 8 1/2-inch-by-11-inch paper. She scans the work in and has it printed at a larger size, sometimes as big as 4 feet, and adds media to the print.
“I think it’s the Swarovski crystals that really bring them over the top and catch the eye,” Mistinguett said.
Brownstone noticed Mistinguett’s artist’s card and arranged to meet her in her home studio. She bought a piece and has become a fan and advocate for the work.
“People rave about it when they see it,” Brownstone said.
“Some of the work is from shows I produced, and some of it is from shows I worked on that I never got a chance to produce,” Mistinguett said. “I also do work to order for people who are looking for a specific kind of look in a size that fits the space they want to display it in.”
The drawings of showgirls in elaborate costumes feature loose, flowing lines mixed with various details.
“When I draw a showgirl, I’m not just drawing a picture of a woman,” Mistinguett said, “I’m drawing on my experience as a dancer, and I know things like how the foot works and how the costume has to fit to allow the movement of a dancer.”
Although she thinks of herself as an illustrator as opposed to a fine artist, there are many who would disagree with that assessment. She said her work usually hangs in businesses instead of galleries, not because it isn’t good enough to be shown in an art-only venue but because she has found that her work sells best in businesses, which have a steady stream of people passing through.
“My work is scattered all over town,” Mistinguett said. “I’ve had a lot of luck in hair salons.”
A recent incident may change that. A salon closed unexpectedly while she was out of town and her artwork was confiscated. She’s trying to recover it. She had success at a show at Cashman Center, 850 Las Vegas Blvd. North, last fall, and she is set to return there for The Craft Festival, set for April 11-13.
Until then, her work can be seen on her website, mistinguettproductions.com.
Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at email@example.com or 702-380-4532.