Artist Makes 'Unanimous Decision' to Change Course
Bold brushstrokes and vibrant colors make up Sean Russell's new series of paintings exploring the plant life of Clark County Wetlands Park. Entitled "Unanimous Decision," the exhibit will be on display from Tuesday, Nov. 19 through Friday, Jan. 10 at the Winchester Cultural Center Gallery, 3130 S. McLeod Drive, just north of Desert Inn Road. A reception will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22.
Russell picks titles for his series of paintings before he creates the work, so "Unanimous Decision" was chosen long before the new canvases were even stretched. The artist planned to create more of his large, satirical works addressing recent political and social issues: controversial laws, rulings and events that are far from unanimous. But Russell often strolls Wetlands Park just before sunrise to clear his head for the day, and the park's thick, lush, interwoven flora and the light effects created by the rising sun inspired him to change his subject matter.
The entangled branches and leaves of the many plants moved him to paint in the style of Expressionism and to create a body of work emulating the density and natural beauty of the park. Ultimately, the unanimous decision was Russell's own in deciding to change course and explore a new subject.
Russell earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in 2005 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. That same year he was awarded the prestigious Joan Mitchell Grant for Painters and Sculptors, based on the body of work presented in his graduate thesis exhibition. Since then, Sean has taught courses in painting, drawing, design and art history at UNLV, the College of Southern Nevada and Nevada State College. In early 2010, The College of Southern Nevada hired Sean as a tenure-track instructor of art history, where he currently works as a professor and assistant department chair.
In addition to teaching, Russell has taken part in numerous local and national art exhibitions. He also has created pieces for the Las Vegas Centennial Mural project and the Regional Transportation Commission’s Stop and Glow bus stop design project. More recently he has completed work on a collection of paintings for the new Las Vegas City Hall.
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Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 12th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2 million citizens and 43 million visitors a year. Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The county also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to almost 900,000 residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.