When Jeannie Hua first enrolled in art classes at the College of Southern Nevada, she’d already been a criminal defense attorney for 20 years. When Juan de Dios Varela signed up, he was an immigrant from Mexico City.

They’re both part of the Inaugural CSN Art Alumni Virtual Exhibition: Seed to Seed, curated by Art Professor Wayne Littlejohn. It’s a virtual exhibition that showcases the work of former students in a program that attracts artists from diverse backgrounds and career paths.

Some of CSN’s art alumni have planted roots in the Las Vegas art community. Others have moved to different cities to follow their art careers. Here’s a glimpse at their show. To see more, visit the Seed to Seed exhibition page.

Lani McKay

Lani McKay, “Indian Lillies,” Ink and paint on board, 2018

Lani McKay is originally from Hawai’i. Her trajectory took her to Las Vegas and Montana. She now lives in Colorado.

Jeannie Hua

Jeannie Hua, “The Race, Competition or Ethnicity,” 2018

Jeannie Hua was a criminal defense attorney for 20 years before she enrolled at CSN. Now, she’s an MFA candidate in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Low Residency Program.

Ailene Pasco

“Year of the Rat” by Ailene Pasco, 2020

Ailene Pasco is a Philippine-born sculptor and small business owner who works as an art education coordinator for Clark County. After she attended CSN, she earned her BA from UNLV. Her work is also on view in the Diaspora exhibition at the Las Vegas City Hall Chamber Gallery through July 15.

Daniel Cope

Daniel Cope, “Tacomatose” oil stick, acrylic, airbrush and charcoal on wood panel, 2019

Henderson artist Daniel Cope went on from CSN to Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, where he received his BFA in Sculpture and New Genres. He says the CSN courses he took with Erik Beehn and Chris Bauder introduced him to new ways of thinking about art.

Lilia Todd

Lilia Todd, “Near the Strip,” found objects installed on fence, 2019

Lilia Todd appreciated that at CSN, she got to study art with people in several different age brackets. It made her feel more like part of the community. She went on from to earn her BFA from UNLV.

Sarah Petkus

Sarah Petkus, “SHE BON: concept,” digital illustration, 2019

Sarah Petkus combines illustration with robotics and makes wearable technology. Her YouTube channel, “Robohemian!” with behind-the-scenes demos in techniques like animating a felt demon and how to properly glaze pencil-eraser-sized donuts, has 16,000 followers.

Juan de Dios Varela

Juan de Dios Varela, “Mexican Autumn,” watercolor, 2014

Juan de Dios Varela’s art school trajectory started at the National University in Mexico City, then brought him to CSN and UNLV. He’s painted more than 15 restaurant wall murals, illustrated 12 children’s books, and has exhibited his work in Las Vegas and Guadalajara, Mexico.

Zahra Bilal

Zahra Bilal, “Untitled,” drawing, 2020

Zahra Bilal is originally from Kenya. She earned her AA from CSN and recently participated in her first public art project with the Guerrilla Artz Foundation.

Ross Takahashi-Brummer

Ross Takahashi-Brummer, “Drowning,” cast bronze, 2018

Ross Takahashi-Brummer is a public-school teacher who followed up his studies at CSN with the Hot Metal Art Residency in Minnesota and a solo exhibition in 2020.

Henry Morales

Henry Morales, “Mi Mama Blanca,” joint compound, acrylic and oil paint, 2021

Henry Morales is a first-generation Guatemalan American who explores themes of labor, immigration, identity, and place in his painting. He painted some of the electrical boxes on CSN’s North Las Vegas Campus, and he’s now in the BFA program at Temple University.
Images courtesy of CSN’s Department of Fine Arts.

Posted by Kris Vagner

Kris Vagner is Double Scoop’s Editor & Publisher.