"Locals Only" Exhibition Series to Begin This Month at CENTERpiece Gallery, Las Vegas

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Featuring the works of Las Vegas based artist Aaron Sheppard

Shakti- SME-2010

“I continue to use my body as a canvas and object,” Sheppard says.

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MCQ Fine Art Advisory and CENTERpiece Gallery kicks off its 2011 exhibitions series with its signature program “Locals Only,” on February 17, 2011. The series is a biannual exhibition program that features the works of selected local artists from the Las Vegas community.

Opening the season, CENTERpiece Gallery will present the works of contemporary artist, Aaron Sheppard. This will be the first solo exhibition of Sheppard’s work in the Las Vegas area and will include a VIP opening reception with the artist on Thursday, February 17, 2011, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Drawing influence from the late 19th century Decadent movement, Sheppard’s work incorporates layers of material, neon, wood, concrete, and hand drawings. Through his fascination with allegorical narrative and storytelling, Sheppard addresses ideas of desire and cultural norms. Specifically, he incorporates his own body into drawn or collage images that is meant to juxtapose sexual identity and gender. “I continue to use my body as a canvas and object,” Sheppard says. “Images drawn or collage are referential of my physical body and mind projections.”

Sheppard intuitively assembles physical materials and literary references to blur the boundaries between feminine and masculine, erotic and sacred. Sheppard’s series of Maleboxes, 12 individual “glory hole” sculptures with unique personalities alluding to the Twelve Apostles, are displayed at waist height, meaning to engage the viewer with the more suggestive nature of the work. Shakti SME, the centerpiece of the exhibition, touches upon themes of both the divine and profane with neon tubes pouring milk, white light from the figure’s breast-like udders, calling to mind the famed Artemis fountain at the Villa D’Este in Tivoli.

Sheppard received his MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2009 and currently lives in Las Vegas. His work is in the collections of the Sheldon Museum of Art and Lied Center of Performing Art in Nebraska. His work can also be viewed at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the Virginia Cable & Wireless Corp in Vienna, Virginia. Sheppard has exhibited at the Fringe Festival in Australia, and in galleries in New York, Tokyo, Beijing, London, Las Vegas and Washington DC. Most recently, Sheppard held a solo exhibition at Western Projects in Los Angeles and has been reviewed and featured in numerous publications including the Las Vegas Review Journal, Las Vegas Sun and Desert Companion magazine.

Aaron Sheppard’s opening reception will be held on Thursday, February 17, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The public is invited to view the exhibition through April 10, during normal business hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For more information on the “Locals Only” series and other upcoming events, contact Gallery Director, Nicole Moffatt at (702) 739.3314.

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Lori Goodwine
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