Vanessa Juarez Named New Art Curator of theatre7 in Las Vegas

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After an extensive search, Darryl Martin feels he has found the perfect person for the successful art gallery.

For the first six month of theatre7's existence, Darryl Martin has done double duty as both artist and curator of the art gallery at 1406 South 3rd Street, Las Vegas, NV 89104 in the downtown Arts District. But the quick success of theatre7 has made it too hard for him to do both and after an extensive search, Martin is happy to announce Vanessa Juarez as theatre7's new art curator.

"I am so impressed with Vanessa," Martin said. "I think we found the perfect person for the gallery. She brings with her a diverse background in art history from Peru to New York and now she is adding Las Vegas to her resume.”

Juarez, a recent transplant from New Jersey, is also coming off of helping to coordinate the Fiesta Las Vegas Latino Parade & Festival. A board member, Juarez served as curator and organizer of the Latin American Art Exhibit at the event. She is also currently helping to prepare a show for the Hispanic Museum of Nevada's 20th anniversary gala.

"Community and innovation are my strengths," Juarez said. "I have a passion for the arts and culture, but I also have passion for people and helping to expose them to new things."

Juarez has a Bachelor of Arts in art history from Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J. She also has been certified in the Art of the Incas by the National History Museum of Archeology and Anthropology in Lima, Peru. She also has experience at the Signature Gallery in the Venetian.

Prior to coming to Las Vegas, she founded a program at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York called “Working Together.” The program was designed as an outreach for first-time museum-goers. It started as a strategy for Hispanic audiences, but was soon extended into a program to reach other minorities as well.

"In these hard economic times with schools cutting funding for art programs, galleries and museums are as important now as they ever have been," Juarez said. “Galleries can help share and preserve culture, help educate and overall they can enrich what is being taught in the classroom."

Located near the "Downtown Las Vegas" sign, theatre7 opened its doors in March. The artlover's and indie film fan's paradise is owned by filmmaker Derek Stonebarger and screens independent films, doubles as an art gallery and hosts live theatre performances.

Currently, a stage production of Joseph Scrimshaw’s Adventures in Mating by Poor Richard’s Players can be seen there. The show is scheduled to run until October 2. The second annual underground film festival PollyGrind will then highlight October’s programming.

"I love theatre7," Juarez said. "It's so different and it brings so much energy to the downtown area. It's a place that is open to try new things and isn't scared of challenges. It's a great place that is open and accepting of all art and the various communities. I'm very happy to be a part of it."

Martin said the feeling is mutual.

"She's a go-getter," Martin said. "She doesn't wait for things to come to her; she makes them happen. I really see it as a perfect fit."

A painter all his life, Martin has lived in Nevada since 1968 and has been a Boulder City resident since 1992. His specialties are expressionist style oil paintings and fine art giclees.

Currently, Martin and Juarez are preparing for theatre7's next free First Friday art event, which will be October 7 and starts at 7 p.m.

Aside from Martin's work, the gallery will be showing photographs by internationally exhibited and published art photographer Sita Mae of Grand Rapids, Michigan and Alan Goya of Boulder City, who has had images reproduced in Better Homes and Garden, Sunset Magazine and many others. Martin will be performing a live painting at the event.

Recent Nevada artists featured at theatre7 were Lynne Jordan and Kelly Haugh.

Ironically, Stonebarger's film I.M. Caravaggio, which inspired him to open theatre7, is what first made Juarez fall in love with the venue.

"I've seen a lot of films about Caravaggio, so I wasn't really sure what I was going to see," said Juarez of the award-winning film that depicts a character reincarnated as Caravaggio in modern day Las Vegas. "I thought it might be another biography on him. But it blew away all my expectations. It's already difficult to depict the life of Caravaggio, but tell his story through somebody else in a different place in a different time; it was amazing. It really impressed me."

For more information on theatre7, visit http://www.theatre7lv.com/ or call 702-568-9663. To view some of Martin's work online, visit http://www.dmartnevada.com/.

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Chad Freeman
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