When Amazon built a 147,000 square foot “delivery station” in North Las Vegas, located on Las Vegas Boulevard and Owens Avenue, a few blocks north of the Neon Museum and a few blocks south of Jerry’s Nugget, all concerned knew there would be a lot of cinder block wall facing the street to spruce up. North Las Vegas city officials turned to Jerry Misko, the neon-inspired Las Vegas artist who recently painted larger works and actively deconstructed his established style to create increasingly beautiful pieces. His 5,000 square foot mural, his largest work to date, has many stories to tell, both about the community and about the artist himself. Here are, in her own words, some of the influences present in her new fresco, titled Aurora.
LIGHTS, SKULLS AND GROOVES
“[North Las Vegas’] Ice Age fossils are important to them, [so] I took their first thoughts and played with them in what I do. I couldn’t get the streaks out of my head. … The northern part of the mural is made up of abstract neon lights that refer to geological striations and auroras in the sky. … And there are skulls of three of the largest animals that lived here during the Pleistocene.
“I contacted the Paiute Tribe, and they sent me information and recommended some books. I researched [North Las Vegas’] the indigenous people, the people who lived here for thousands of years, and learned what kind of plants and things allowed people to live in this harsh environment. All the plants in the fresco are important for survival in the desert. … The geometric patterns of the background refer to the decorations of the Paiute baskets. And the color spectrum of the fresco represents the diversity of the city.
POWER OF THE TURTLE
“I have a little nod to Jerry’s Nugget and Silver Nugget, as they have both been an integral part of the business community in North Las Vegas and have been for decades. There is a tribute to Jerry’s Nugget on the southwest wall and a tribute to the Silver Nugget on the southeast. And between them, there are a few neon turtles, because there is no public art in Nevada without turtles (laughs).
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