Paul Benedict recites from works by the humorist Mark Twain at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 25, at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery. Benedict is well-known for his memorable roles in a number of stage productions by the Virgin Valley Theatre Group, and has lent his talent for public speaking to many other local events over the years that he and his wife Barbara have lived in Mesquite. An Air Force veteran, Benedict has over 20 years experience as a competitive speaking coach, has conducted training seminars for hundreds of participants, and has addressed gatherings of over 1000 convention attendees.MLN-Benedictfeb19-15

Last fall, Benedict read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” to a delighted audience that asked to hear more from his broad repertoire of classics.  Paul is a student of American history and literature, and enjoys drawing his audience into the tales spun by American authors.  For this presentation, Benedict has chosen to read from works by one of Nevada’s legendary residents, Samuel Clemens–AKA Mark Twain– who lived in Virginia City during the Civil War. Many of Twain’s stories relate to his experiences in the West. Twain was both a masterful writer and orator.  He used his sharp wit to lay out his stories, building to a powerful conclusion in each.   Benedict uses his resonant voice and finely-tuned speaking talents to help his audience re-live the events and characters in Twain’s stories.

Virgin Valley Artists Association, operators of the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, sponsor this event which is provided free to the community by Mr. Benedict.  This is an opportunity for all ages, teen and older, to enjoy an evening of literary excellence. The program will last about

90 minutes, with light refreshments served during intermission. Gallery doors open at 5:30pm, and seating is limited to 55 guests.  No advance reservations are accepted.  While admission is free, donations to the VVAA community art education program are gratefully accepted.

VVAA encourages learning among public school students of the valley through its free art classes and its student art show at the gallery. VVAA awards scholarships for post-high school studies in the arts. The nonprofit organization offers art education for all age groups through its art and pottery classes, free kids’ and senior art classes, and frequent lectures, cultural events and gatherings at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery.

The Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery is located at 15 West Mesquite Blvd, Mesquite Nevada.  The

Gallery is currently showing a twin exhibition, “3D” and “Photography,” along with other fine original local artwork and a special showing of works by Dianne Schwierzke, VVAA’s Artist of the Month.  Phone 702-346-1338 or website,  for more information.   Gallery hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.