69°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

After two residencies in Europe, artist shows work at West Charleston Library

When artist Melissa Gaudet was in high school growing up in northwest Las Vegas, she decided that she wanted to move to New York City to be closer to her older sister.

“So I went out (to New York), but I said the only way I was going to do that was if I studied,” said Gaudet, now 24.

After she graduated from Las Vegas Academy, where she majored in dance, Gaudet enrolled at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. In 2015, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography.

Back in Las Vegas after traveling and completing two residencies in Italy and Spain, Gaudet has an exhibit on display in the gallery at West Charleston Library. Titled “Exhale,” it features life-sized cyanotype blueprint portraits Gaudet completed while in Las Vegas. “Exhale” runs through Aug. 20.

Much of Gaudet’s work explores memory and its relationship to life and death. There’s also a clear fascination with movement and the human body.

The prints in “Exhale” show a woman in different positions. Each is hung lightly from the walls of the gallery, moving slightly as the building’s air circulates.

In “Hold,” the model grasps herself over her stomach, head down, hair hanging lightly over her face. “Embrace” appears to have been taken directly after the former, the blurred lines of the model’s arm movement captured as she swipes her hair back, face still obscured.

In “Touch,” which hangs near the gallery’s entrance, the model’s hair obscures her face yet again, while she reaches down to brush her leg with her hand.

Though unclear at first glance, each of the models is Gaudet herself. You wouldn’t know until you saw the two side by side.

“I like it when it’s ambiguous,” Gaudet said. “I wanted them to be more mystical, ethereal and have that magical feeling.”

Gaudet took the portraits at the Zappos photo studio, then created giant negatives from them. To print on the cloth, a mild, photosensitive solution was applied and then the material was allowed to dry in the dark. Gaudet then created the images by laying the negative over the treated cloth and exposing it to sunlight in her driveway for 10 to 15 minutes.

Gaudet’s interest in art began in grade school. She said she loved making trips to Michael’s as a child to pick up crafts supplies for various projects. In high school photography classes, she often got in trouble for experimenting with mixed media and not sticking to assignments.

One of Gaudet’s biggest inspirations is the art of Francesca Woodman, an American photographer known for her black-and-white portraiture. Woodman created at least 10,000 negatives before she killed herself at 22.

Echoes of Woodman’s work can be seen in Gaudet’s, including the focus on movement and the use of nude and nearly nude models.

Gaudet’s senior college project was heavily inspired by Woodman, she said. In it, Gaudet explored the death of her father, which happened during her freshman year of college. Several images in the project featured the beach and ocean scenes and references to family members and friends.

“I went back to the places I thought he saw,” Gaudet said. “He loved California and was a beach person and was super wild.”

It’s uncommon for people to be able to deal with such difficult times in their lives via art, said Gaudet’s former high school history teacher, Jessica Kelly.

“She just amazes me,” Kelly said. “She’s willing to do anything and go the extra mile, not only in her art but … what she thinks she can even do herself.”

Gaudet’s travels to Italy landed her in a deeply religious town, she said.

Since her art employs mysticism and often features nude models, it ended up being a great contrast, Gaudet said.

Gaudet’s willingness to try new things and reach beyond her comfort zone make her special, Kelly said.

“I know she’s going to be huge,” Kelly said. “I just can’t wait to see what she’s going to continue to do.”

Contact Madelyn Reese at mreese@viewnews.com or 702-477-0497. Follow @MadelynGReese on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Las Vegas festival showcases students’ storytelling skills — PHOTOS

Robert Jones, coordinator of K-12 library services with the Clark County School District, said 20 schools and about 60 students participated in the Bristlecone Storytelling Festival. The festival, in its 18th year, was held April 29-May 1 at Windmill Library, West Charleston Library and Whitney Library. It featured memorized storytelling from Clark County School District fourth- through sixth-graders.

At College of Southern Nevada, therapy animals reduce stress

As final exams rapidly approach, some College of Southern Nevada students are studying hard, noses buried in books; others decide to take a break and de-stress by petting therapy dogs and cats. A partnership between Pet Partners of Las Vegas, a nonprofit, and the College of Southern Nevada lets students de-stress with trained therapy dogs and cats on all three campuses prior to finals week.

Clark High musicians play to Carnegie Hall audience

Sixty-two Clark High School band members and 102 orchestra musicians hopped on a redeye flight on April 9, heading to a performance of a lifetime in front of about 500 people at Carnegie Hall in New York City.