Las Vegas-based painter Gig Depio has installed his oil on canvas mural painting, "Through the Muddy," which illustrates in an intense, large-scale, figurative composition the local historical forces that shaped Moapa Valley.
Recipient of the 2016 Nevada Arts Council Fellowship Grant in Painting, Depio has exhibited across Nevada with shows at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the University of Nevada in Reno, and Clark County's Winchester Cultural Center Gallery. In his native Philippines he worked for several years as an apprentice to his father, the artist Professor Gig C. De Pio, Sr.
"Though the Muddy" will be dedicated at the Moapa Valley Community Center in Overton as will the smaller paintings, "They Were Dauntless" and "Source," created in 2017 by Heidi Leavitt and Joan Rainy Day. The latter two pieces have been installed at the Moapa Valley Recreation Center. The paintings are paired with a book that gives information on all three artists and an area to allow local citizens to fill in their own story of how their family arrived in Moapa Valley.
To commemorate the permanent art displays, a free public reception and dedication of the artworks will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. starting at the Moapa Valley Recreation Center, 325 N. Cooper Street in Overton, and then moving to the nearby Moapa Valley Community Center, 320 N. Moapa Blvd., where the Moapa Valley Town Advisory Board meets at 7 p.m. and when the dedication of Depio's mural will take place. Refreshments will be served during the recreation center reception.
"These beautiful art installations at the Moapa Valley Community Center and the neighboring recreation center enhance the local community and pay homage to the rich natural, social and cultural history of the area," said Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who represents the area. "Together with the resources housed and archived in both the Lost City Museum and the Old Logandale School Museum, these distinctive artistic creations offer the surrounding communities, as well as visitors to Moapa Valley, a unique, powerful and very personal perspective of the people, events and activities that have helped to shape the character of this part of Clark County."
"Gig Depio's remarkable mural, Through the Muddy, exists in a condition of haunting equilibrium," said Robert Tracy, Ph.D., of the UNLV Fine Arts Department. "Depio's intense research into the Moapa Valley's long and grand history has been fixed not only into visible form on an appropriate scale -- roughly 11 feet by 40 feet -- but into individual narrative parts developed by the artist co-exist in a remarkable balance of connection and inter-connection. Depio's ambitious desire for an awe-inspiring chronicle of majesty not only means what they mean right now but the complexity of his back-stories rendered with deft skill and meaningful dexterity will continue to reverberate through time. Locals and visitors will get the artist's narrative because Depio delivers the visuals, a truly remarkable effort by a very talented and gifted artist."
In 2017, a panel of judges selected Depio from 32 applicants who responded to a call for qualifications, and three semi-finalists who created proposals and presented their designs for the Moapa Mural Project, to enhance the main meeting room of the community center and to celebrate the local area through art.
"There was no way that those in attendance that evening could possibly have known how that event would evolve and help to sow the creative seeds of additional art installations in Moapa Valley," said Clark County Public Art Program Supervisor Mickey Sprott. "Through the subsequent months of transition and discovery, the local communities have been treated to, not one, but three separate public art creations and installations, which sprang from that event – two of which are scheduled for dedication on December 12th. We hope that folks will join us in Overton and have a good time celebrating the art and the artists."
The Moapa Valley Community Center mural project is presented by Commissioner Kirkpatrick, Clark County Parks & Recreation and the Moapa Valley Town Advisory Board. For more information about Clark County public art, please contact Mickey Sprott at (702) 455-8685 or visit http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/parks/Services/Pages/visual-arts.aspx