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Vegas Artists Guild displaying 30 pieces in Sunrise Library show

When many arts organizations are trying to put together a show of their members’ works, they have an elaborate vetting process or convene a jury to select the pieces.

For the Vegas Artists Guild Members Show, the process was simpler: The guild put out the call to its 150 members and took the first 30 submissions.

“We like to involve as many of our members as we can,” said guild director and vice president Karen Wheeler. “We always end up with a great show. We’ve got a lot of talented members.”

The guild celebrates its 18th anniversary this year. It meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month.

For many years the guild met at the Clark County Library but in recent years switched to Chaparral High School, 3850 Annie Oakley Drive, for most of the year and the Elks Lodge at 4100 W. Charleston Blvd. in the summer.

“The purpose of the guild is to get together with other artists and share ideas,” Wheeler said. “We have a speaker each month from different areas of the art world.”

Wheeler said members get together to exchange tips and techniques and to hear speakers and watch art demonstrations.

Roberto Rico, a member of the guild’s board of directors, has been a member for only five years but already has served as the group’s president and vice president and participated in a recent recruitment drive.

“Our motto is ‘Artists helping artists,’ and that’s what we do,” Rico said. “Our membership fees are only $30 a year, which barely covers the phone and the website content. Some places charge you to enter a juried show and then you might not make it in anyway. We don’t charge to be in shows, and we don’t take a percentage of sales.”

The guild also produces a monthly newsletter that, among other things, lets members know where their fellow members are showing their work.

The guild produces at least three annual group shows, with at least one of them at one of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District branches.

“We have a good rapport with the library staff,” Wheeler said. “It’s always good to have a show at a library. There’s a lot of traffic, and people are interested to see the artwork.”

The theme of the show is “Dream a little dream,” and Wheeler’s contribution is a work called “Lake of Dreams.” The piece was inspired by a friend’s description of an approach to meditation in which one imagines being on the edge of a lake looking at something in the distance.

She divided the painting into three separate areas with the foreground, middle ground and distance all representing different aspects of a view of self and reality.

Wheeler said the themes for the shows are chosen to be open to interpretation and be a bit open-ended.

Rico’s piece for the show is a large painting of a cat’s face, based on a cat from the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society shelter.

“It’s the face of an alley cat,” Rico said. “I began it before the theme was announced, but it felt like it fit the theme, so I finished it with that in mind.”

The Vegas Artists Guild Members Show is set to be on display from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, today through Sept. 4, at the Sunrise Library, 5400 Harris Ave.

For more information, visit lvccld.org or call 507-3900.

For more information about the guild, visit vegasartistsguild.com or call 412-7103.

Contact Sunrise/Whitney View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at ataylor@viewnews.com or 380-4532.

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