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From plywood to paintings: COVID Murals capture the pandemic in Las Vegas

From plywood to paintings: COVID Murals capture the pandemic in Las Vegas
From plywood to paintings: COVID Murals capture the pandemic in Las Vegas
Posted at 7:04 AM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 11:32:43-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The arts district in downtown Las Vegas is typically packed with people, especially over the weekends. It’s a big change from this time 2-years ago when many businesses in the area were boarded up.

Owners covered their windows and doors with plywood to prevent break-ins during the COVID-19 shutdown.

“Our businesses didn’t look right so we wanted to add a little color. We started hiring artists and then they started doing murals and then it just spread, it spread like crazy,” said Derek Stonebarger, owner of ReBAR and an arts district board member.

Many downtown Las Vegas businesses took advantage of a City of Las Vegas program that provided funding for artists to create murals on the plywood boards covering their storefronts.

The plywood eventually became a canvas for local artists to create murals.

The artwork is now being considered a piece of Las Vegas history and is on display for everyone to see.

“Myself and a few other people started collecting these boards and saving them, knowing that these are historic and that these could be shown even 100 years from now,” said Stonebarger.

“To me it’s just really important that when they were capturing a moment of crisis mentally or physically, like no matter what moment in time it is we have to take care of our health we have to take care of our being so that’s what I hope people gain from it,” said Chelsea Rust, one of the artists.

The COVID Murals will be display on May 31st at the 920 S. Commerce.