Jonathan Justo Avila

LAS VEGAS — AiR TOUR — Issue 9

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2. Installation view, Ken Lum_ Death and Furniture, Art Gallery of Ontario. Artworks © Ken

Art by Jonathan Justo Avila

Jonathan Justo Avila

sM | How do you think this Artist-in-Residence program fits into the artist community in Las Vegas?


JJA ── The exhibit and program helped to elevate our artist community. The program itself is enriching and a great opportunity to build momentum in your career. I encourage everyone to visit and immerse themselves in our gallery to connect to Vincent and his art. Most artists I know operate downtown, so I was nervous to operate on the [Las Vegas] Strip. Most locals stay away from the Strip unless it’s for work, but it was so fun to have connected with so many people from all over the world at our venue.

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sM | What inspiration do you get from artists around you?


JJA ── I am inspired by a lot of local artists; too many to mention, notably, Juan Quetzal, also known as Quetzal Visions. I love how he represents and supports the local indigenous community. I am fortunate enough to call him my friend and I love his art. He inspires me to look within and express myself authentically. Juan’s art speaks to my soul, a feat I aspire to achieve in my work. He, as well as many other local artists I’ve met, have encouraged me to not give up. Never give up! You can find Juan on Instagram @quetzal.visions.


sM | How has the pandemic transformed the priorities of Las Vegas’s artist community?


JJA ── The most exciting thing to me about the current atmosphere in the artist community in Las Vegas is the growing inclusivity. I have met so many wonderful artists and musicians seeking opportunities to be seen and heard. Fortunately, there are plenty of events now that encourage creatives to network and share their gifts. My personal favorite is the Love Yourself Expression event hosted by the Love Yourself Foundation. You can find me there supporting my friends, live painting and singing at the open mic. I am very proud to represent our growing art community and am excited to see our art and growth.