This April, the Neon Museum will host its first artist in residence, Las Vegas artist David Sanchez Burr. His work, titled Citizen Speak, will be built and exhibited in the Neon Museum’s North Gallery on Saturday, Apr. 18, and Sunday, Apr. 19, before being transferred to the Marjorie Barrick Museum at UNLV.
Citizen Speak will be on view in the Barrick Museum’s lobby from April 27 to May 20; an artist’s reception will take place there from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.
A partnership between the Neon Museum and the Barrick Museum, the residency calls for artist-parents to create work inspired and enjoyed by their children—and, by extension, children of all ages. Both museums hope the residency becomes an annual event, with the first part of the project housed at the Neon Museum and the second part at the Barrick.
Citizen Speak will be an interactive work of art involving audio and video media, modified specifically for children. For this project, Sanchez Burr will create a portable version of his project nowhereradio, which began in 2011 as part of a personal journey to produce an artwork that would encourage meaning and interactivity with the audience as a social event and broadcast.
“I believe interaction and participation are important tools for enhancing the meaning of an artwork by incorporating the thoughts, ideas, reactions and physical activity of its audience,” explains Sanchez Burr. “This work combines my interest in analog radio signal broadcasts with my study of science-fiction Utopian and dystopian literature. My goal is to create an accessible, community space dedicated to open transmission and—by extension—endless possibilities.”
On April 18 and 19, families will be encouraged to visit Citizen Speak at the Neon Museum’s North Gallery and join in the “itinerant communal radio” experience. They will interact with the installation, which is composed of alternative and traditional radio instrumentation attached to a freestanding support system. In doing so, they will be able to play instruments, voice their thoughts and ideas and listen to the broadcast while investigating the range of transmission the piece offers. Following this installation, the piece will move to the Marjorie Barrick Museum, where select objects, as well as audio and video recordings from its Neon Museum installation, will be on view for a month. Also at the Barrick, a reception will be held for all participants in the piece.
“It has been a hope for many years to bring artist residencies to the Neon Museum, offering an opportunity to interpret and engage the collection in fresh and exciting ways,” says Danielle Kelly, executive director, Neon Museum. “We are thrilled to present the first of what we hope to be many artists’ residencies, and honored to partner with the UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum in this endeavor.”
Citizen Speak will be open to public involvement at the Neon Museum North Gallery from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 18, and Sunday, Apr. 19. There is no cost to participate. For more information, call (702) 387-6366.