By Brian Paco Alvarez
For the 18b Arts District Association
If there was anyone in the world who truly knew the meaning of life, or better yet what it was like to live a life fulfilled, it was Alexander Huerta. Alex lived a passionate artistic life, keenly aware that life itself is a fragile gift not to be taken for granted. Whether you were one of his closest friends, a fellow artist or someone who has only recently met him, the very first thing that you would learn is that he cherished every breath he took. Alex had a deep, almost spiritual, awareness of what it means to be alive and how to live a life filled with creativity. His magnetism was so strong that he attracted people from everywhere so they too could experience a part of his positive energy and his deep insightful thoughts about art and life. Alex loved people and he loved to share his art, his studio, his gallery, but most importantly his story of survival through his many creative activities. He was one of the rare artists who thrived when surrounded by people, rather than recuse himself to the safety and privacy of their studios. He was able to seamlessly combine every aspect of his life into one thing: creating art.
For more than 10 years his beloved PeaceNArt Studio, located in the world-famous Arts Factory, became a must-see attraction during First Friday, “sacred ground” for any friend or fan of the artist. By constantly keeping his studio open, painting every day and encouraging other artists and businesses to do the same, Alex quickly became known as Las Vegas’ unofficial ambassador to the Arts District. He knew that the success of the Arts District and its cohort of artists could only be accomplished if everyone worked together for a common goal. Alex had no qualms in exerting his passion in building a vibrant arts district with his own two hands, going as far as painting directional murals and signs to encourage the public to pull over, visit and navigate uncharted territory.
Though Alex never took a formal art class, preferring to just paint and experiment on his own, he would enthusiastically state that he was inspired by artists the likes of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and most importantly Jean-Michel Basquiat. From his inspirations, Alex’s art would evolve from colorful and whimsical pointillistic works in pen and marker, to a 21st Century version of neo-expressionism, deeply rooted in Las Vegas’ gritty urban landscape. Not shy about using color or every type of media, including antiques, his works would become highly sought after by collectors far and wide. Most notably, Alex would join creative forces with local Las Vegas artist and break-dancer Alexander Skye and artist Eddie “CiCi Fu” Canumay, to become the regionally renowned 3 Baaad Sheep. This artistic trifecta would take Las Vegas by storm by combining three unique artistic styles into one powerful creative expression. An artistic force not seen since the Arts District’s earliest days, when the 5 Finger Miscount and the anti-art establishment Laservida ruled Las Vegas’ urban art landscape.
By awakening and harnessing the power of a slumbering giant of creative talent and navigating through his almost unsurmountable personal challenges, Alex was able to achieve more artistically, inspire an entire generation of new and accomplished artists, influence arts leaders, business owners and many others by sharing his story of triumph over tragedy through art. His artistic legacy will, without a doubt, leave an indelible mark in the cultural arts history of Las Vegas for generations to come. Alex’s extraordinary artistic life demonstrates that life, no matter its obstacles, should be a daily celebration and a poignant reminder that tomorrow may never come.
“It was God telling me, this is what your life is; you’re an artist” Alex Huerta