The Las Vegas Arts Commission in partnership with the Department of Public Works is working toward the development of a significant piece of public art to be sited on Main Street as part of the ongoing Main Street Improvement Project. This sculpture is part of the larger improvement project to convert Main and Commerce to a one-way couplet.
The evaluation committee was a seven member panel appointed by Cultural Affairs staff: one Arts Commissioner; one Public Works employee; one Cultural Affairs employee (non-voting); and four community members representing the arts community and the neighborhood. In June 16, 2015, a Request for Statements of Qualifications (RSOQ) was advertised on City and Arts Commission websites, local newspaper, Onvia DemandStar, and Nevada Gov eMarketplace (NGEM). On November 18, 2015, after multiple meetings and additional review processes, the final evaluation committee meeting selected the work of Louis Varela-Rico.
The sculpture, Radial Symmetry, references the indigenous people of the region, the Southern Nevada Paiutes, and is an exploration of pre-Las Vegas art; particularly the craft of basket weaving. This project serves to expand on a cultural identity for the city enhancing an intersection with a significant work of art to enrich diversity and cultural identity.
Luis was born in Guadalajara, Mexico but has been a resident of Las Vegas for over twenty years. His long-standing interest in learning “how things work” has led him to be mechanically oriented in his art practice. He is a certified welder and possesses a high degree of skill in several crafts, which is evident in his sculpture. Varela-Rico’s main artistic influences are the Minimalist and Bauhaus movements, but he often draws inspiration from native cultures and the natural world. Luis has an associate’s degree in art and completed additional studies in art at UNLV. He is a welder by trade.
Location: Near 710 S. Main Street, on the median island where Main Street and Commerce intersect
Completed Date: Estimated installation in 2018
Artist Website: www.VarelaRico.com