New artist collective plans opening reception for debut exhibit

Spirit of Art, a new artist’s collective, is hoping its first show will be a dream come true.

An opening reception for the “Dreams” exhibit is scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 5 at Clay Arts Vegas, 1511 S. Main St., a studio with a store that sells clay supplies and ceramic art. Organizer Karen Wheeler hand-picked the artists with whom she wanted to work.

“We’ve got eight members, and it’s a very diverse group,” Wheeler said. “We have a photographer, an oil painter, a pastel artist and a person who works in 3-D. I looked for people who covered a variety of art fields.”

The work is set to be on display through the month, showing concurrently with Clay Arts Vegas’ holiday show, which features smaller ceramic works suitable for gifts, including pieces for display and some that are functional, such as cups and bowls. Spirit of Art’s show is not holiday-themed.

“I didn’t want the group’s first show to be themed that way,” Wheeler said. “I chose the theme ‘dreams,’ and the pieces each reflect that concept in their own way.”

The group includes some well-known local artists, such as Kd Matheson, Bonnie Kelso and Roberto Rico.

“It’s an honor to be a part of the group,” said Rico, a longtime member of the Las Vegas Artists Guild and president of the Nevada Watercolor Society. “I’ve been in many shows lately, but this is going to be one of the best I’ve been involved with. There’s really some great art happening in town now.”

Spirit of Art is a loosely organized group, with no dues, fees or board of directors. Instead, the artists get together at least once per quarter to discuss upcoming shows and current projects.

“We’re all folks that get along,” Wheeler said. “We all enjoy and respect each other’s work.”

The show is also set to include music by Wheeler’s brother, Randy Wheeler.

“My brother plays mellow stuff, like James Taylor,” Wheeler said.

A silent auction of prints and cards is planned to raise funds for student artists. The group has a goal of $250, which will allow it to send 20 children to classes at Clay Arts Vegas.

Wheeler hopes that the First Friday opening will draw many visitors to the show. She said the space is far enough away from the monthly arts festival’s main activities that parking won’t be a problem.

“Parking is always a problem for me on First Friday,” said Wheeler, who uses a wheelchair. “I don’t like to come down for it unless I’m showing somewhere.”

For more information, visit or call 702-375-4147.

Contact East Valley View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at or 702-380-4532.

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