A little over a week ago I was invited to attend an event at the Nevada Museum of Art for the opening of a new art exhibit, Tilting the Basin, which features artists all across Nevada. The exhibit is full of art of all kinds with pieces that include sculptures, paintings, colors, textures, objects, & more. A few months ago when I visited Las Vegas (pics & post still to come) I was able to visit the art installation known as Seven Magic Mountains. It was my first taste of art & Nevada in one. As someone who was born & raised in the Silver State, it was such a treat to be a part of both.
I’m able to go to events & shows & local openings quite a bit, but I sometimes laugh at myself for being the person who gets to do these things. Just before attending that night I full on panic at the thought of going by myself. I might seem to be this social butterfly, but I actually get super nervous in crowds, doing things with people my age, or even going somewhere for the first time. I don’t like the unknown & that night was all sorts of those things. I almost didn’t even go, but I’m so glad I did.
I walked into the museum with my head down, & marched up the steps to the third floor where the exhibit resides. I looked at the art, “snapped” my favorite pieces, & stormed straight up to the top floor for the private opening party. When I got up there, I found water, because this nervous girl needed hydration, walked to the edge of the skyline rbalcony to see the city & streets I roam, & thought to myself, now what? I debated leaving as quickly as I came, but if you honestly know me, you know it’s just as hard for me to leave somewhere as it is for me to show up. So I gazed the room & I found a safe haven.
At a table covered in a red tablecloth, four chairs, one seat taken, sat an old, old man. Perfect, I thought. He’ll be my friend. So I walked over, forgot to introduce myself, & the rest of the night was history. I sat next to this man the entirity of the evenin & learned so much. I discovered his son was one of the artists in the exhibit, the first piece I ended up being in awe over. He had three kids, lived in Las Vegas, & had a wife that passed away 10 years ago. He told me he went to school for music & played in Jazz bands on the Las Vegas strip for artists like Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin. How random & cool!
As I sat there & befriended this old man, I couldn’t help but think of my grandpa who recently passed away. What I would give to just sit & hear stories from him again. There, right there, filling that second seat, listening to stories about his life, having to shout my responses, giving this old man company, was where I was meant to be for the night. I almost let the fear of crowds & people make me miss out on night that meant something more than art. It meant a moment, it meant two strangers, two generations crossing paths & learning from each other.
Eventualy his son wandered over & I got to meet him & another fellow Las Vegas artist & hear a bit of their stories as well. It’d be a lie if I said I still wasn’t anxious or nervous while sitting in a huge room full of people, because I still was. But choosing to be there for someone who otherwise would have been alone the entire night made those nerves worth it. Life is full of moments we either miss or create. I’m glad that night’s moments were the latter.
The night was filled with beautiful inspiring art, but it’s the artists, the humans, the hands & the creativity of moments that make the beauty more vivid. I ended up enjoying so much more than just an art exhibit that night, I enjoyed a living story.
Thank you so much for inviting me Nevada Museum of Art, I had an amazing time! Be sure to check out the exhibit & look below for a few quick shots of my favorite pieces that I took via my Snapchat.
— abbey kay
*brought to you by a girl who is happy that moments worth living meet her at every corner despite the oppsticles she faces to get there