Polymer bead-making featured at Mesquite art gallery

"Fenceline Sunflowers" by Geraldine Zarate. Zarate will demonstrate jewelry making at the Mesquite Art Gallery on June 5. | Photo courtesy of the Virgin Valley Artists Association

MESQUITE, Nev. – Geraldine Zarate may be known as the “Sunflower Lady” because of her beautiful paintings of sunflowers and other flowers, but she has another artistic side too.  She makes jewelry from polymer beads that she creates.

Zarate will demonstrate her skill in that art form when she presents, “Pretty Polymers: At-Home Jewelry Making,” June 5 at noon (Pacific Daylight Time; 11 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time) at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery. Her demonstration is sponsored by Virgin Valley Artists Association in its brown bag art lecture series, “Everything Mixes with Art.” The public is cordially invited to attend and bring a sack lunch to enjoy during this free program.

Zarate’s lecture date also marks the opening of a new exhibition, “T Time” at the Gallery. This is a competition among those artists who create their idea of what “T” represents. Golf tee? Thunder? Texas? Tree? Visitors to the gallery are invited to select their favorite interpretation of that theme, and ribbons and prizes will be presented to favorites chosen by visitors, judges, and the June “Business Sponsor of the Month,” Bank of Nevada.

All prizes will be awarded at a gala reception June 21, 4-6 p.m. Participating artists and Artist of the Month, Joan Rainey Day, are honorees at the reception, which is open to the public. Expect to be treated to refreshments that may follow the “T” theme.  Perhaps a “Trifle” and Champagne “Tea” Punch?  Don’t miss these events!

Brown bag lectures are part of a community art education program sponsored by the Virgin Valley Artists Association, operators of the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery. The VVAA is a nonprofit organization that provides all-volunteer staffing for the gallery, which is a city-owned facility. The 200 artist members of VVAA create the original artwork that is shown and sold in the gallery and gift shop. The unique partnership of artists and city government has provided the Virgin Valley with access to fine art and art education for more than nine years.

The VVAA also operates a pottery studio that is open to the public, and sponsors low-cost classes in drawing, painting, photography, pottery construction and glazing. The VVAA also provides free art classes for assisted living seniors at Highland Manor and for children. All of these art education programs are sustained by sale of member artwork and by funding from many local businesses and individual donors.  The city of Mesquite, Nevada Arts Council, NEA ArtWorks, Nevada Commission on Tourism, Mesquite Resort Association, and Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation also provide support to VVAA in its mission to promote the power of the arts in the community.

The Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery is located at 15 West Mesquite Blvd, Mesquite, Nev., and is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday during the summer.  Stop by the gallery for more information on classes, VVAA membership, and donor opportunities. More information is also available at  www.mesquitefineartscenter.com, or by calling 702-346-1338.

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