Mesquite is in high gear for the Fall season and no place in town is more alive than the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery. This is the 13th year of the Gallery’s “Lucky 13 National Small Works Competition.” The competition is the Gallery’s iconic annual art show that appears every November-December, offering its biggest cash purse of the year. This year artists have submitted over 60 entries, hoping to cash in on the $1,300 in prizes sponsored by Premier Properties of Nevada and Equity Title of Mesquite.
Why “Lucky 13?” From the gallery’s beginning, its operators, Virgin Valley Artists Association, recognized that they needed to make the entry process simple if they were going to attract out-of-state artists to their contest. They decided to play on Nevada’s gambling persona to attract attention, and chose that name to limit artwork to a small scale to make shipping more affordable. Entries must be sized 13”x13” or less.
Then, the contest entry fee was set at-you guessed it-$13. Only hanging wall art is eligible providing a “full house” of small-size masterpieces. These factors have combined to help create a catchy image for the gallery that has grown to be one of the leading small public art galleries in the U.S. Over the years the competition has attracted diverse fine art from all over the country.
Visitors are treated to an entire roomful of artistry in the “Mountain Gallery,” the larger of the two salons that comprise the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery. Besides housing the Lucky 13 artwork, that room provides a stunning view of the Virgin Mountains.
Meanwhile, in the smaller “Mesa Gallery,” Artist of the Month Karlynn Jones displays a collection of her fine work. She generally works in watercolor, but is also known for her pottery and ingenious cards and art calendars. Her well-designed art wall is flanked by works of other VVAA artists, including some winners of past exhibitions.
This is an especially pleasing display, offered just in time for holiday gift-giving. All works shown in the gallery are original art, most created by the 200 members of the VVAA. Besides wall art, the gallery features ceramics, jewelry and more.
Lucky 13 raffle benefits young artists
Virgin Valley Artists Association uses this month to replenish its scholarship fund by staging its “Lucky 13 Raffle.” Each year the artists offer financial assistance to high school seniors of the Virgin Valley who intend to pursue advanced studies in a profession that requires art training.
This past May, three VVVHS graduates were awarded scholarships of $2000 each. VVAA hopes to be able to equal that amount next year. All Lucky 13 raffle proceeds go toward that fund.
VVAA Raffle Chairperson Karron Knight has assembled a highly-desirable collection of art and local merchandise gifts. Anyone purchasing a $5 ticket is eligible to win. Tickets are available at the gallery, with the drawing of the lucky numbers held during the awards reception for the Lucky 13 art exhibition winners on Thursday, Nov. 19, 4 to 6 p.m. The public is cordially invited to the artists reception and drawing.
The Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery is located at 15 W. Mesquite Blvd, Mesquite, Nevada. Hours are 10a-4p, Monday through Saturday. See www.mesquitefineartscenter.com for other information about the gallery and VVAA membership, art classes, and community activities.