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Friday, May 18, 2012

Local artist S.C. Jones inspired by an angel...

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As I strolled through the First Friday festivities this past week I took a small pit stop at Roz Knight's City of the World gallery. Walking up to the gallery I was greeted by local Las Vegas artist Sean Jones who just inaugurated a collection of paintings of one of Las Vegas' most beloved historic motels, the Blue Angel. These amazing paintings reminded me of when I was a child gazing up at the Blue Angel as she looked down on me. As a little boy it was an amazing sight to behold and for Sean it had a similar affect.

Located on the corner of Casino Center and Colorado the City of the World gallery is chock-full of art and interesting little spaces to explore. Every square inch of this converted 1940's bungalow is bursting at the seams with art. The gallery is a must see when venturing into the arts district. So go and take a look and tell them Paco sent you!

City of the World Gallery 
229 S. Casino Center Boulevard
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
Reception will take place on Friday, May 18
6pm to 9pm
All are welcome!

For more information about Sean Jones art - http://www.facebook.com/s.c.jonesart

Sean Jones Artist Statement

Growing up in Las Vegas in the early 70’s, I often found myself staring out the back window of my parents’ or grandparents’ vehicles as we headed to Charleston Boulevard. I don’t believe any of those vehicles had seatbelts. I would tuck my legs under me and directly face the window for premium viewing. In those days, Vegas was vast blocks of dirt and tumbleweed, occasionally marred by signs of progress.

Charleston Boulevard was the only center of commerce and civilization in my dust town. We went to Charleston to shop at the mall, pay bills, see movies at the Huntridge or Fox or Redrock 11. We would visit neighbors or family working in the casinos on nearby Fremont Street. We usually entered the mecca of Charleston via Eastern Avenue. On the corner of these streets, rotating impossibly high in the air of the northwest corner, I would catch my first glance of the Blue Angel. Vibrant, blonde hair. Beautiful face. Long, blue gown. She would finally turn my way, seeming to look right at me, pointing a magical wand as if in blessing. It never dawned on me that such a glorious vision would be attached to something as mundane as a motel. You see, the front of the motel is actually on Fremont Street – I only saw her magically floating over various, low buildings (Vegas had building height restrictions back then).

As I grew up, eventually driving my own car past her a thousand times, I would crane my neck slightly out the window to get a quick look at her. The Blue Angel. Eventually she stopped rotating. All the movie theatres on Charleston were closed, chased away by neighborhood casino multi-plexes. The mall was torn down and replaced by a standard strip mall. The area became one that you drove through quickly, never thinking of stopping. I heard they were closing the Blue Angel Motel, so I drove out and took as many pictures as I could, knowing that the Angel herself is destined to be in the Neon Graveyard soon. As I clicked my last picture, a bird shot out from beneath the Angel and flew over my head.
SC Jones stands with his latest 

As I began painting the images, I wanted to really capture the cloudless, infinitely blue Las Vegas sky. It sometimes seems so empty and deep that you could fall into it. Seeing the reality of the Angel up close in my photographs, I chose to show the Angel that I saw in my childhood heart. Ironically, it wasn’t until I began painting her that I realized she is actually the Blue Fairy from Walt Disney’s Pinocchio. A big clue is that most angels don’t carry wands.

S.C. Jones
A photo taken by his students

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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