The Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a vehicle for corporate and philanthropic partners to support innovative programs that improve quality of life for all Las Vegas residents with a special focus on vulnerable populations, today celebrated the unveiling of two iconic community sculptures at the West Las Vegas Arts Center, 947 W. Lake Mead Blvd. in the Historic Westside.
Completion and installation of the “Queen of the Arts” sculptures, created by renowned international artists, Gus and Lina Ocamposilva, and selected by West Las Vegas community members in 2016 to grace the entrance of the West Las Vegas Arts Center, was funded by a gift of $40,000 to The Mayor’s Fund from The Howard Hughes Corporation®, developer of the Summerlin® master-planned community, its urban core of Downtown Summerlin® and Las Vegas Ballpark®, and owner of the city’s professional baseball team, Las Vegas Aviators.
According to Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, city of Las Vegas, the value of public art is immeasurable. “Public art gives voice to communities; it celebrates local culture and builds community pride,” she said. “We are especially grateful to partners like The Howard Hughes Corporation that have long recognized the role of public art in fostering community pride and spirit.”
“The Queen of the Arts sculptures were chosen by community members in 2016 to stand at the gateway to the West Las Vegas Arts Center,” said Councilman Cedric Crear, Ward 5, city of Las Vegas. “As such, they are positioned to become part of the area’s cultural fabric, contributing to the rich African-American history of the Historic Westside. We appreciate The Howard Hughes Corporation’s contribution that brings these spectacular sculptures to life in this important area of our city.”
“Public art has long been foundational to our commitment to community building, evident in outdoor sculpture throughout Summerlin and other projects we have been involved with over the decades” said Kevin T. Orrock, President, Las Vegas Region, The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Today, we are especially proud to support and celebrate the rich history of Las Vegas’ Historic Westside with these magnificent sculptures at the West Las Vegas Arts Center – a place where art, learning and history combine to create a meaningful gathering place for the community.”
Bold and colorful, the Queen of Arts sculptures each stand nearly 15-feet tall and are made of aluminum. They were commissioned by the Las Vegas Arts Commission under the Percent for the Arts ordinance in partnership with the Office of Cultural Affairs, the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE and The Howard Hughes Corporation.
According to Ally Haynes-Hamblen, Director, Office of Cultural Affairs, city of Las Vegas, the sculptures were painstakingly assembled onsite and installed with the help of a local team comprised of artists and welders. “The sculptures stand on either side of the entrance to the West Las Vegas Arts Center, welcoming visitors to gather and embrace creative expression and proudly honor their roots.”
Since its opening in 1995, the West Las Vegas Arts Center has amplified the voices, perspectives and talents of the community via a number of flagship arts program that honor and recognize African-American heritage. It is home to a number of arts programs for area residents of all ages with an emphasis on youth, and it provides pivotal opportunities for civil engagement and social just projects through the disciplines of arts education.