Boulder City Hospital welcomed members of the Boulder City Art Guild as they unveiled their inaugural exhibit, “Art from the Heart,” at the medical facility on Friday.
The exhibit, the first in an ongoing collaboration between the guild and the hospital, is the brainchild of hospital board member Linda Faiss, who saw an opportunity after recent renovations.
“We’ve had a wonderful fundraiser relationship with the guild for more than 50 years, which has been so important to us, as a nonprofit hospital,” Faiss said. “With all this new wall space things felt a little empty, but then I realized it presented a perfect opportunity to expand that.”
Leading up to the reception hospital employees had the chance to vote on their favorite pieces, on display in and around the lobby, and on Friday Tom Maher, hospital CEO, awarded ribbons to the three works deemed most popular by the staff.
Las Vegas resident Karla Rehm, in her third year with the guild, won first place for her mixed-media piece, “Feeling Outside the Box,” which was inspired by a recent relationship.
“Specifically, it’s about breaking the mold, feeling free of the constraints of what you’re used to,” Rehm said. “It’s like adding spice in life and in art. That’s why I love working with materials beyond the norm, repurposed found items and such.”
The exhibit, which continues through September, features nearly 50 pieces from two dozen artists, many of whom are from Boulder City, but others journey from across the Las Vegas Valley to be part of the guild.
“I live in Summerlin and have participated with the Clark County Artists Guild out there as well, but they don’t do half the things that this guild does,” said Roseann Gilmore. “They not only do more for the artists, they also give back to the community. Activities such as this and scholarship fundraisers mean so much, where we can show our art and the community gets to not only enjoy it, but benefit from it as well.”
This year will mark the 54th annual Art in the Park festival, which serves as a fundraiser for the hospital, and Sara Denton, founder of that event which began the relationship between the guild and the hospital, was present for this latest evolution of that partnership.
More than half a century ago Denton hosted the first Art in the Park in and around her home overlooking Wilbur Square Park. She still owns many pieces of art from that very first show.
“We really were just hoping to raise maybe a thousand dollars for the hospital, but things went so well that it became an annual event,” Denton said. “I used to invite the attendees to come on to the house, to find some relief from the heat, but then I’d make sure they had purchased something first before they could come inside.”
Heat was more of an issue in those early days with the fundraiser being held in May, but after a few years of erratic weather, including early-arriving high temperatures and unexpected storms, Denton called the weather bureau to ascertain the optimal weekend for such a festival and ever since it has been an autumn mainstay.
Denton was also behind the very first preview night, on the eve of the fundraiser, which she held in her home and the clothesline raffle she hosted in her yard. The raffle received its moniker, as the name suggests, from the pieces of art displayed hanging from her clothesline, each of which was donated by the artists as their entry fee for the festival.
Though the annual fundraiser has expanded beyond the confines of Wilbur Square, spilling over to Bicentennial Park, to this day each artist still donates a piece of art to be raffled for the hospital as the entry fee.
Contact reporter Hunter Terry at hterry@ bouldercityreview.com or call 702-586-6711. Follow him on Twitter @HunterBCReview