Susan Holliday was dreaming of fanciful flight when she created her pencil drawing of a hot air balloon as viewed from her window.

The first themed art competition of 2015 takes off Monday, January 5, when “Up, Up and Away” opens at Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery.  Taking a cue from the Mesquite Balloon Festival, the Gallery will feature artwork that interprets that airy theme.  Virgin Valley Artists Association operates the City-owned gallery facility for the enjoyment and creative spirit of the community.   They present this show in support and appreciation of the popular balloon festival that has become a mainstay of January activities in town.  Bill Mitchell Farmers Insurance Agency sponsors the artist awards for this exhibition, on display through January 31.

Throughout the year, the artists of VVAA host monthly exhibitions, inviting the public to choose a favorite artwork in its “Peoples’ Choice” contest.  Gallery visitors can cast a vote for a favorite entry, and the work earning the most votes is announced at the artists reception, along with juried prizes and ribbons.  The reception for “Up, Up and Away” will be held Thursday, January 22, 4-6pm, with the public, including balloonists and entourage, cordially invited.   The special exhibition, along with the gallery’s gift shop, is open Monday through Saturday, 10a-4p, at 15 West Mesquite Blvd, Mesquite Nevada.


Vanessa Temple’s Sedona Sky expresses the soaring feeling of night sky in her prizewinning painting.

All artwork in the gallery is offered for purchase.  The Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery closes out 2014, ringing out “the old” as the National Small Works Competition and the beautiful boutique of handcrafted items continue through Saturday, January 3.

Artists interested in joining VVAA can learn more about the nonprofit organization and its activities at, or check out Facebook listing for Virgin Valley Artists Association.    Artists of all levels of experience are welcomed, along with art lovers who wish to help promote the power of the arts in the community.  Phone 702-346-1338 for information on VVAA membership, art and pottery classes, and other gallery events.