Local artist showcases work at Ascaya

Ascaya, the luxury community in its early formation in Henderson, has teamed up with a prominent local artist to display her vibrant, beautiful creations in the lobby of its sales center.

Sculptor Dorit Schwartz’s collection, called The Light Within captures the community’s natural, geological beauty in a form that allows observers to enjoy it in a visual and tactile way. Three of the collections pieces are on display.

Working in reclaimed wood, marble, hand-carved selenite and crystals, Schwartz said she draws inspiration “from nature, absolutely, and the gifts we get from Mother Earth. The whole purpose was to bring the outside indoors.”

Her works are handmade, fusing pieces of hardscape into shapes that invoke a sense of heat and movement.

Schwartz was selected as the initial artist to be showcased at Ascaya after being introduced to Sales Manager Darin Marques by an Ascaya agent who had seen her work in several clients’ homes. She sent a portfolio of her work and Marques felt it was a good fit.

“One of the reasons we brought her in is because her work fits very well with the current design and architecture,” Marques said. The pieces on display are at the higher end of her prices, which range from $2,000 to $30,000.

Schwartz said she is pleased to show her work in the glass enclosed, sunlight-filled lobby of the pavilion.

“The morning sun is absolutely breathtaking as the sun rays just penetrate the crystal. You don’t even need (artificial) light,” she said.

She draws energy by working with materials from “all the elements that are found in the universe,” Schwartz said. “But now so many people understand the energy we get from those elements. I’m learning more and more as I get older the healing properties of each one, and how to connect to each one.”

Part of her preparation for the materials is to “clear their energy,” she says. “Before, I just used to put them in the sun and clear them, but now it’s time to take them to the next level,” which, she explains, involves the services of a Reiki practitioner. “As the crystal lay dormant, my job is now to get the energy and the properties working again.”

Her work is in homes in London, Zurich, Paris, Los Angeles and New York. Locally, her work has been on display at The Discovery Children’s Museum, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Downtown Summerlin, Summerlin Hospital, UNLV, City Hall and Symphony Park at The Smith Center. Two pieces were installed in suites at Red Rock Resort, she said. The Home Store at the Esplanade of the Encore Hotel has carried her work for three years, and in September she began to sell at their location in the Delano Hotel.

Schwartz’s commercial sales kicked in about six years ago, she said, “when I decided I would officially be selling my work and make it a business. That’s when things took off. When I started the line The Light Within, using the combinations of the crystal with the wood, it just took off like wildfire.”

The artist first visited Ascaya in 2009, then came back four months ago, she said. “It’s a wonderful place. I enjoyed learning about the excavation, to take you to the top of the mountain for this phenomenal view. It’s pretty impressive. The whole architecture, the clean lines, it’s definitely the environment where I’d like to see my art displayed, in lobbies and homes of places like Ascaya.”

Schwartz emigrated from Israel to Los Angeles as a teenager and then to Las Vegas in 1996. In 2008 she co-founded the local chapter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with friend Tanya Amid.

Schwartz regularly practices yoga and meditation. She lives with her husband in Summerlin’s Eagle Hills, where she has an in-home studio and gallery.

The artist will be at the sales center during the community’s weekly Vino with a View event Nov. 16 from 3 to 6 pm to chat and answer questions.

This is the first of what will be rotating art exhibits at the center, Marques said. He said each show would last about a month. The Wednesday event has been going on for several months and is drawing a steady stream of visitors.

“The feedback’s been great. We’re keeping it consistent, and people are always looking for a reason to come in. It’s a low-pressure way to get clients through the door. It’s been one of our least expensive, most effective marketing platforms,” Marques said.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular office hours through Nov. 30. Ascaya’s sales center is at One Ascaya Boulevard in Henderson and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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