The City of Las Vegas Arts Commission is responsible for the creation of permanent and temporary public art projects that transform public space, stimulate intellectual discourse, and celebrate cultural diversity. Through a commitment to excellence that prioritizes community collaboration, the Las Vegas Arts Commission nurtures and promotes artists, elevates civic awareness and helps contribute to a sense of place that fosters creative enterprise, generates cultural tourism and keeps Las Vegas at the forefront of global interest.
“Art is a key component to having the world-class city that the residents of Las Vegas envision,” Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said. “Creativity and beauty flourish in the city’s Arts District, through our Public Arts programs and our museums and venues like the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. I’d ask all residents to support the arts in Las Vegas so that our cultural offerings can continue to grow and excel.”
To view an Arts Commission meeting agenda, or hear the audio of a past meeting, go to: http://www5.lasvegasnevada.gov/sirepub/meet.aspx.
Polly Weinstein, Chair
Marc Abelman, Second Vice Chair
Brian “Paco” Alvarez
Stacie Truesdell Michaels
Jerry Schefcik, First Vice Chair
Since 2004 Marc Abelman has been the CEO of Inside Style, an interior design firm located downtown. He was recently elected to the office of President of the Arts District Board with the goal of making Las Vegas’ Art District a destination to rival any other attraction in Vegas. Actively involved in charter education, Marc has served as the former treasurer of Quest Academy and currently serves on the State Public Charter School Authority board. He is dedicated to bringing a higher level of education to more children in our state. Marc believes that the arts play an important role in giving Vegas the diversity in culture that is needed in this city.
Brian “Paco” Alvarez
Brian “Paco” Alvarez is the Art Curator and Historian at Zappos.com. He is a Las Vegas native and holds a bachelors degree in Anthropology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. During his career Paco has curated major historic collections at the Liberace Museum, Neon Museum, Hispanic Museum of Nevada and the Las Vegas News Bureau Photo and Film Archives. He has served on the boards of the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation-National Atomic Testing Museum, Nevada Museums Association, the Contemporary Arts Center of Las Vegas, Preserve Nevada and the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts. During his spare time Paco blogs about the cultural arts, reads, paints, and plays the African drums.
John Curran is the Real Estate Portfolio Manager for the Downtown Project, the $350 million redevelopment effort founded by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh. The goal and purpose is to help make downtown Vegas a place of Inspiration, Entrepreneurial Energy, Creativity, Innovation, Upward Mobility, and Discovery, through the 3 C’s of Collisions, Co-learning, and Connectedness in a long-term, sustainable way. John oversees the property management of roughly 100 properties and serves as a project manager on a variety of different developments. He also acts as a liaison with the City of Las Vegas, assisting with matters of entitlements, permitting and licensing.
John received a B.A. in Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to complete a Masters of City Planning at Penn Design. After eight years on the East Coast, he ultimately missed the mountains and sunshine of his hometown of Las Vegas, and returned in 2013. He also serves on the executive board for the Meadows School Alumni Association and on the Board of Trustees for the Outside Las Vegas Foundation. Outside of work, he can usually be found skiing, hiking, biking or playing softball.
A resident of Sun City since 2012, Sandy Karpel is a native of the New York City/Long Island area. She has studied music and art on and off for much of her life, and currently takes classes in art.
Recently Sandy joined the Nevada Watercolor Society and is President of the Sun City Art Club, where she helped lead them through a successful yearly art show.
Prior to retiring to Sun City, Sandy was a purchasing director for an OEM in NY. She rose from her position as an electronics technician into management, and was responsible for many aspects of her company’s purchasing department, as well as heading up groups charged with updating the company’s practices pertaining to technology.
Sandy and her husband Bernie have three children and four grandchildren, all of whom share Sandy’s love of the arts.
Stacie Truesdell Michaels
Since June 2009, Stacie Truesdell Michaels has served as Corporate Counsel to Wynn Las Vegas. Prior to joining Wynn Las Vegas, Ms. Michaels served as Associate General Counsel to a local real estate development company. Ms. Michaels began her legal career as an Associate at Jones Vargas.
Ms. Michaels received her JD, magna cum laude, from New York Law School and her BA, with a dual major in Art and Government & Law, from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Ms. Michaels served as the Chairman of the Nevada Taxicab Authority and currently serves on the board of the USO. Ms. Michaels is also the President of The Meadows School Alumni Association and an alumni interviewer for her alma mater, Lafayette College.
Ms. Michaels is a native Las Vegan and continues to reside in Las Vegas with her husband Justin Michaels and their daughters Jemma, Harper and Sloane.
As a public art specialist Nevada native Michael Ogilvie strives to make the ground we tread beautiful. To this end he has successfully managed numerous public art projects while working at the city of Las Vegas, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and Clark County. He received a BA in Art from the University of Nevada, Reno and an MFA in painting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has exhibited his art nationally and internationally and his comics have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers such as the Reno News and Review and the Desert Companion. He has published five graphic novels, the most recent being CHUM (www.chumbook.net). The value of education to enrich the lives of others is a tenet of Michael’s and as such he has taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the College of Southern Nevada. Michael lives in Las Vegas with his amazing wife and two rescue dogs and is the public art specialist for Clark County.
Jerry Schefcik is Director of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery a post he has held since 1991. He also curates the Metcalf Gallery in the Tam Alumni Center and other satellite spaces throughout the UNLV campus. In 2012 Schefcik was given responsibility for the remodeled Marjorie Barrick Museum with its new focus on contemporary art, and now he is referred to as Director of Galleries at UNLV. Along with his gallery responsibilities, he also teaches the Gallery Practices series on gallery/museum management and over-sees the gallery internship program. Schefcik has served as Exhibitions Curator for Nevada Institute for Contemporary Art for 11 years, and curator at the McCarran International Airport Arts Advisory Sub-Committee for 5 years. He continues to work as juror for local agencies and serves with various arts organizations in Las Vegas and the Western Region. Schefcik’s Las Vegas roots go back to 1961 when his father moved the family from Nebraska.
He received his B.A. in Art and Design from Brigham Young University and his M.A. in Art History and Museum Training from the University of Denver. He first served as Curator of Visual Arts for the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, CO, and then moved to the Amarillo Art Center in Amarillo, TX where he was Curator of Art. From Amarillo he returned to Las Vegas.
John Trimble is a Los Angeles/ Las Vegas-based multi-media artist. In 1996, he received his Associative of Arts from Antelope Valley College and in 2000 his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Trimble specializes in acrylic paints, pastels and colored pencil on various canvases and paper to create works representing his memories from an open perspective. Trimble has exhibited his work in Los Angeles and Las Vegas galleries including the Donna Beam Gallery, West Las Vegas Arts Center Gallery, and Scents and Inspiration African American Arts Gallery. He has also participated in annual Las Vegas community festivals such as the Taste of Sounds & Soul Festival and the Springs Preserve Black History Festival. You can view his artistry collections at www.Facebook.com/DeVineInspirationJT.
David Tupaz is the founder of the “Las Vegas Fashion Design Council,” a nonprofit that mentors local designers, creative youth, students, artists and others. He mentored in opening a manufacturing presence in the city to jump start the creation of a local fashion industry as well as attract other manufacturers from other states, particularly California where 85% of American-made apparel is produced.
He is the only designer representing Nevada in major national fashion events and was honored by the Seattle Art Institute in a retrospective exhibition of his designs. He is the creative director and partner of VATV Inc., and “Repurpose America,” a nonprofit organization that gathers non recyclable industry waste for repurposing.
David Tupaz is the President of “Vegas Fashion Project,” the first trade expo focusing on local emerging designers and their products. He is a collector of art and antiquities and an avid reader and researcher.
Mark T. Zachman has extensive experience in executive level operations, business management, corporate consulting, budgeting, marketing and customer service. He possesses exceptional multi-disciplinary expertise in Class A office and mixed-use project planning and creative design. In addition to his service on the Las Vegas Arts Commission, Zachman has served as Board Member on the Metro Arts Council of Southern Nevada, the City of Henderson Commemorative Beautification Commission and was formerly President of the Allied Arts Council of Southern Nevada. Zachman earned an MBA in Business Administration and an MS in Architectural Urban Design from Columbia University, as well as a BArch from the University of Illinois.