The Mesquite Fine Art Gallery is featuring Thomas Gilbert West as Artist of the Month for June.  His art will be displayed at the gallery June 1 – 27.  The gallery, 15 West Mesquite Blvd., is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.MLN-Artmay28-15

Thomas West has always been interested in art, because, he says, “It has so many forms and variety.”  He started out in Junior High School making clay figures and tables in wood shop. When in High School, he was involved in stage art for all the plays and performances.  “It was a lot of fun.”

Much of his time while on vacation has been spent going to art galleries including on the coast of California, Taos, Arizona and the Tetons in Wyoming.  One of his favorite galleries is in Loveland Colorado. It is a sculpture presentation that is the largest in the United States; he would recommend spending at least two days there.

When Thomas West was a young man, he spent a large amount of time doing photography.  He says that was when photography was fun, using a dark room. He took over 7000 slides of family and friends. He also did weddings and children’s pictures. He used multiple cameras including a 35mm camera, a 2-1/4 inch camera, and a 4X6 inch camera with multiple lenses, including a 200mm lens with a 3xtel extender.

One of the things Thomas West enjoyed the most was backpacking with his brother, his sons, and his nephews. He says that the Uinta Mountains in Utah “is where God truly does reside, it is so beautiful.” Both he and his brother owned property, near Smith and Morehouse and spent many camping trips at that property. The deer would walk right through the property while they were having dinner.  “It was great.”

Much later in Thomas West’s life he spent a lot of time studying the human figure. There was an open class at the University of Utah that he attended for over ten years. He says that he “got to rub shoulders with real artists and learned a lot from them.”  He says that it is “just so sad that we as a society don’t respect the most beautiful thing on this earth and if you have even tried to draw or paint the human figure you know it is very challenging. Words cannot describe just how beautiful it is.”

Thomas West enjoys painting landscapes, animals, birds, reptiles and fantasy art. His favorite medium is oil paint. He calls it the “lazy artist medium,” because you can leave your brush and go outside and take a break. He says that “for every painting you must walk 10 miles, trying to get perspective and calm down.”  The paintings displayed for the Artist of the Month are the ones that are near and dear to him.

A reception to honor Thomas West and the winners of the June exhibition “Face to Face “will be help at Mesquite Fine Art Gallery, June 18 from 4 – 6 p.m.

The Mesquite Fine Art Gallery is administered by the Virgin Valley Artist Association (VVAA) a non-profit volunteer organization whose purpose is to advance and promote the arts in the community, provide a place for local artists to display their talents and help with funding, planning and operating the Mesquite Fine Art Gallery.