City Lights Gallery hopes to expand beyond ‘hidden gem’

Tucked away inside the Water Street District, the City Lights Art Gallery features the works of many local artists.

“We are a hidden gem,” said Chris Mazglad, marketing director for the group.

City Lights Art Gallery, 3 E. Army St., is a charity designed to help with art education for children and seniors, allow for a space for local artists to showcase work and provide art shows for the community.

“We have well over 60 members,” Mazglad said.

Though City Lights has been around since 2003, it has seen changes in the last year. It received its nonprofit status in the beginning of 2013.

“I think having that will help us develop our objectives,” Mazglad added.

The organization wants to be a resource for other artists, providing scholarships for those who need them. But it also wants to be an amenity used by the community. Trying to reach that goal, Mazglad said the gallery is developing a marketing strategy.

“We often hear that people had no idea we were there,” she said.

Organizers are putting together a brochure to spread the word of City Lights Art Gallery as a spot to visit.

Mazglad added that City Lights has been working to be more involved in events put on by the city of Henderson.

“We had a display at the Heritage Parade and its Mother’s Day event (Art Festival Henderson),” Mazglad said. “We plan to do something at SuperRun in September.”

Providing a resource for established local artists is only one aspect of the gallery’s mission.The gallery also hosts classes that are open to the public.

“We have classes on watercolors, acrylic and abstract art,” Mazglad said.

Mazglad, who is also an artist, knows the importance of City Lights. When she retired from her job at General Motors in Detroit in 2004 and moved to Henderson in 2007, she thought about getting into art.

“I started on the opposite end of the spectrum, working in finance,” she said. “I had always been interested in art, just never had a chance to pursue it.”

Her new home provided her with an opportunity to create pieces for vacant spaces.

Not having a background in art, she enrolled in a continuing education course at UNLV to learn more about technique.

Since joining City Lights, she has had the opportunity to grow as an artist, even selling her work to family, friends and more. Her works have been on display in a variety of places, from the gallery to restaurants around town. Her biggest sense of pride was having a stranger purchase a painting. Her works are set to be on display throughout June.

Other artists, such as Jim Champlin, who is slated to be featured in the gallery in July, can relate. Like Mazglad, Champlin started out on the opposite end of the spectrum.

“I was in the Air Force for 20 years,” he said.

A Vietnam veteran, Champlin received a Bronze Star, two distinguished Flying Cross Medals and a Meritorious Service Medal. He worked as an engineer and a substitute teacher. In 1997, he decided that he wanted to get into art.

“I just wanted to express myself,” he said.

He started out learning how to do work with oils, and then moved to watercolors. He has had works displayed throughout California, including the National Distinguished Flying Cross Memorial at the March Field Air Museum.

“I also have works at the Missions of California,” Champlin said.

When he moved to Las Vegas in 2011, he decided to get involved with the art scene. He found City Lights, and he has worked with it every since.

The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit citylights

artgallery.com.

Contact Henderson View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 702-387-5201.

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