Marlie Warren's blogspot photograph characterizes the dusty trails that cut across our desert.

Marlie Warren’s blogspot photograph characterizes the dusty trails that cut across our desert.

In a salute to Mesquite’s location on the ancient Virgin River thoroughfare of human commerce, Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery opens its next exhibition, “Dusty Trails: 150 Years of Nevada History,” on September 29.  This display of original art is sponsored by Terra West Property Management and hosted by Virgin Valley Artists Association (VVAA).   Participating artists compete for cash and ribbon prizes, and gallery visitors may vote for their favorite in a “People’s Choice” category.  Winners will be announced at a public reception on October 23, 4-6 p.m.  The exhibition continues through November 1.

From Native American foot trails to quick transit on Highway I-15, the Virgin Gorge has served as an east-west corridor through the mountains, and Virgin Valley has been an oasis of habitation.   A plaque outside the Virgin Valley Heritage Museum tells of the historic trails that have passed this way.  The Spanish trekked through from Santa Fe to Los Angeles, with mule trains loaded with goods; mountain man Jedediah Smith mapped a trail along the river;  settlers endured the Mormon Trail over the nearby mesa, followed by early 20th century automobile adventurers who bumped along on the Arrowhead Trail.  Our valley continues its traditional role as a place of respite for mankind, and VVAA pays tribute to the key role our rugged and beautiful desert trails have played in the saga of Nevada history.

Art lovers are also treated to a special offer this coming month.  A collection of nine paintings by noted watercolorist Joyce Burke is up for silent auction bid at the Gallery , September 29 to October 23.  Paintings will be sold to highest bidders, also to be announced at the October 23 reception.  Each painting carries a “Buy It Now!” price for buyers who wants to assure purchase of one of these beautiful desert scenes.  The paintings were donated by Mrs. Burke to benefit  VVAA community art education programs.    Mrs. Burke is lauded as the VVAA Artist of the Month for her longtime contributions to the organization and her importance in the cultural development of our area.  Several paintings by Mrs. Burke hang in the Mesquite City Hall permanent collection.  A preview of all nine Burke paintings can be seen on Facebook, and as a click-through from website

The Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery is a city-owned facility, operated by all-volunteer staffing of Virgin Valley Artists Association.  The Gallery and its extensive gift shop are stocked with the original artwork of VVAA members.  It is located at 15 W. Mesquite Blvd, Mesquite, Nevada.   Gallery hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  Phone 702-346-1338 for information.