We were privileged to meet artist Tom Everhart this past weekend at the opening of his new show: “Cracking Up.” The show opened April 1, 2006, in the Entertainment Galleries, a wonderful gallery in the Grand Canal Shoppes of The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

As Everhart’s biography says:

Combining a sense of homage with an explosion of expression, Everhart’s paintings and lithographs are the culmination of a 20-year close association with cartoonist Charles M. Schulz and the Peanuts™ phenomenon. As the only fine artist authorized to artistically render the Peanuts characters, Everhart transcends the appeal of the comic strip’s familiar faces, transforming them into studies in brilliant, multidimensional color and personal, often comical commentaries on the people and events of our time.

Indeed, as you can see from the picture above, as well as the other photos we took during the opening, “explosion of expression” is only the beginning of a description of this artist’s tremendous work.

In considering which piece(s) to acquire, we were most taken by a series of smaller pieces which Tom calls “Artifacts”. These are small “snapshots” of sorts, ripped from larger sheets of paper down to little 12″ x 15″ pieces. This format was apparently a new adventure for Tom, but based upon the commentary from many in the opening night crowd, they are every bit as captivating as the huge pieces.

In fact, Justin and I stood quietly near by as visitors looked at all seven of the Artifact pieces, and on several occasions, people stopped and pointed out how much they liked the ones of Snoopy’s Ears and Woodstock, the two pieces that we bought. We’ve never bought art based upon what others think — we buy what appeals to us — but it’s always nice to find people commenting favorably on our tastes. :)

Thanks so much to Tom, gallery owners Jack and Carolyn Solomon, and gallery director John Graff for allowing us to be there. Additional thanks to Carolyn and Jack for opening their home for a wonderful brunch with Tom the next day.

All in all, a wonderful time in Las Vegas!