Creativity, camaraderie and community reign in Cirque du Soleil’s PARADE The Collective, an exhibition of original art by Cirque performers, technicians and staff, which runs through December 29 at Core Contemporary gallery on East Karen Avenue in Las Vegas.
The 13thannual event also features for the first time a piece created by a youth who has benefited from Cirque’s social action outreach. Cirque provides grants to organizations that work with at-risk youth. Whaler’s Creation, which helps train fostered and adopted youth for entry-level jobs in the arts and media, was one of this year’s recipients. Elijah Brown, representing Whaler’s, is the youth artist whose work is being displayed.
“There are all sorts of media being exhibited — painting, sculpture, mixed media and even costume design,” said Kent Caldwell, who performs in Mystère at Treasure Island and who has a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Michigan.
“I do diorama sculpture, which is miniature landscape sculpture that combines papier-mâché with objects,” Caldwell said. “I work on my art for a few hours in my studio at home before I go to the hotel to work in the show. I do it partially on my computer and print it out in 3-D. It is a process that stems from my days as a college student.”
Caldwell has participated in PARADE The Collective for seven years. All Cirque personnel are invited to submit a piece as part of the company’s efforts to encourage the artistic growth of its employees.
“We do the same show 475 times a year, so doing my artwork keeps my brain active and inspires my creativity so that I can engage more with our audiences with my performance,” Caldwell said. “It helps me find special moments. It is kind of an intangible.”
The public exhibition, which is arranged like a classic fine arts group gallery show, is held at a different location each year. The artists can offer their artwork for sale. More than two dozen artists are participating in this year’s show.
“I’m often surprised by the work of some of my colleagues,” Caldwell said. “The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to engage with the Las Vegas community. I’ll continue to show my work as long as PARADE is around.”