Over at Scrambled Eggs gallery, a petite movement is occurring. Four young Latinx artists have merged to supply exhibition space to emergent artists like themselves. Emmanuel “Manny” Muñoz, Brian Martinez, Isaac Quezada, and Alexys Keller are managing a small gallery in a mixed-use space on Industrial Road at the Downtown Spaces.
This is nothing terribly new. I’ve seen dozens of galleries—incredibly good and incredibly, incredibly bad—come and go in Las Vegas. Beyond the engaging exhibitions, the standout aspect of Scrambled Eggs is its culture.
I asked Manny (who is also an employee of the Marjorie Barrick Museum) about his motivations for opening a gallery. “I wanted to extend my knowledge outside of the museum space to a community underground scene,” he said. That idea is what I find most interesting here. Latinx artists of all stripes have powerful voices in Southern Nevada, but rarely have they been in the gallerist seat. With three four gifted artistic minds designing the programing of this gallery, it is splendid to observe a communal network develop and grow in real time. With the inherent experimentality of youth in play at Scrambled Eggs insight, play, and frivolity mix sumptuously.
I attended Scrambled Eggs’ most recent exhibition featuring the work of Daisy Sanchez. Sanchez provides rough, primal work, symbolically charged images portrayed with an adept hand mostly done in paint. I view her as a salient new voice in Las Vegas. It’s hard not to be enamored with her unruly mark making, both tremulous and swift, giving way to a ferocity of forum in whatever she depicts. Her most recent series, Cherry—Flavour brings us a glimpse of the artist’s struggle with their relationship to femininity. Four pieces in total, Cherry—Flavour is not as lengthy an investigation as I would have liked to have seen. Still, Sanchez produces insightful commentary on the female experience with a base on which to build further work.
On that same day, the gallery was also hosting several other artists. I was privileged to speak with Rogelio Alfaro Perez, whose images document economic life in the streets of Las Vegas and Los Angeles, open market places where vendors sell wares to make a quick income. He described the series and accompanying zine as a personal artifact of his cross-cultural upbringing. He was born in Mexico City and emigrated to California and then Vegas. The commonality of street vending in Latino communities serves as the thread weaving all of the images and borders together.
This kind of work from these kinds of voices has been absent for so long in Las Vegas. It’s worth celebrating their much-needed arrival.
Please note that as you read this, you will not be able to see any of the works that I experienced at Scrambled Eggs gallery, but don’t let that discourage you, please. The gallery has a heavy calendar rotation, at least two artists a month each exhibiting for a bit under a fortnight.
Given that Las Vegas’ transience is a noted feature of the city, the function of a space such as Scrambled Eggs as a community hub and cultural catalyzer is crucial, not just for the Latinx voices that the gallerists are championing, but for the ways it builds culture. I recall a decade ago galleries like Blackbird Studios generating immeasurable excursions into creativity that we now take for granted as Las Vegas Art. If you manage to make Scrambled Eggs’ next exhibition, I think you’ll find the same type of innovation at work. Join the fray.
Scrambled Eggs is located at 1800 Industrial Rd., Suite 130, Las Vegas.
The next exhibition features mixed media paintings (oil, watercolor, and ballpoint pen) by Abigail Rivera Ramirez exploring trauma and the bittersweet, love/hate feeling she has had growing up in Las Vegas. The show will run Aug. 7-14, with an opening reception from noon-5 pm Aug. 7.
Photos courtesy of Manny Muñoz and Scrambled Eggs.
This article was funded by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.