Graham Knuttel to Recruit Las Vegas Academy Students for Massive Downtown Mural

Graham Knuttel, a worldwide acclaimed Irish artist and one of the world's leading figurative painters, has a new group of collaborators-and they just happen to be some of Nevada's most promising young artists. Knuttel, along with students from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, will be working together to create a mural that will be hung on the outside of the Neonopolis building downtown.

In a recent visit to downtown Las Vegas, Knuttel was taken with the emerging arts community and wanted to find a way to be a part of the growing scene. Knuttel was able to see some of the most notable sights, including the famous Fremont Street Experience and the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts.

"When I learned there was such a magnificent art school with such gifted students honing their creative skills, a light went on for me," said Knuttel. "I was so excited about the prospect of being able to work with these young minds and help them grow."

The students will participate in the creation of the mural from the creative process through the painting and installation. The first creative brainstorming session starts Wednesday, January 15, at noon and will be hosted at the International Eatery in the Neonopolis. Knuttel and the art students will share ideas on the piece and develop the artistic vision together.

"This is what the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts is all about," said Anita Ward, Marketing and Foundation Director at LVA. "For our students to be able to work with someone as successful and gifted as Mr. Knuttel is integral to our mission. This opportunity contributes to the uniqueness of our school."

The only hurdle with creating a mural-where to put it? While walking Fremont Street, Knuttel saw Neonopolis and loved the prospect of putting one of his unique works in such a prominent setting. Rohit Joshi, owner of the Neonopolis, met with Knuttel's team and loved the idea of an original Knuttel on the building's side.

"Downtown has come alive in the last few years. When representatives for a world-leading artist came in my door, I told them to paint the whole place!" Joshi said.

Knuttel is new to the Las Vegas scene, having recently opened a gallery exclusively featuring his work at the Venetian-Palazzo Resort. The gallery will celebrate its grand opening Saturday, Jan. 18 with a ribbon-cutting by Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson.

Graham Knuttel's paintings and sculptures have been acquired by an array of celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, Colin Firth, Michael Stipe, and Viscount Linley, the nephew of Queen Elizabeth. Director John Herzfeld commissioned Knuttel to paint Robert De Niro. Several prestigious institutions such as Goldman Sachs and the William Morris Agency have also counted Knuttel canvases among their displayed art.




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by Barry Kostrinsky