Prof. Littlejohn Leading Las Vegas Art Scene

By Jules Warren

College of Southern Nevada Professor Wayne Littlejohn, who teaches fine arts, is leading the Las Vegas art scene in an exponential way while influencing the art program for students at the College.

This renowned artist, who paints and sculpts, shines a bright light on CSN with his outstanding artistic accomplishments in Las Vegas and his dedication as a professor.

His accomplishments include three major sculptures in Las Vegas. Each piece was honored with a dedication and ceremony by Las Vegas city officials.

His “Dream Machine” piece is placed at the entrance of the Siegfried and Roy Park, “Atomic Tumbleweed” is perched Downtown at the entrance of 3rd Street Linear Park and “Spin Baby” is at the tri-corner of Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra Dr.

According to Littlejohn’s website Littlejohn Studio, “In 2001, Wayne received one-of-five Nevada Arts Council fellowships for outstanding work in the field of visual art. Jan. 16, 2020 was officially proclaimed Wayne Littlejohn Day in Clark County, Nevada.”

When Professor Littlejohn is working on a major project, he tries to involve his students in the process whenever he can. He says, “It kind of depends on the project. Most were done out-of-town. On my first sculpture ‘Dream Machine’, being worked in (Las Vegas), the students helped me with the scale model, which was a great experience for them.”

Robert Bonora, chair of the Fine Arts Department, says, “I read an article about six-to-seven months ago in the Las Vegas Weekly on Las Vegas being the hottest most active art market in this country, and let me tell you Wayne Littlejohn has contributed to that in a big way.”

Littlejohn’s dedication to the Fine Arts Department is ongoing: teaching at CSN for 20 years. He keeps the art department and students active with various events and projects. Currently he is curating a virtual exhibition of previous students’ artworks called “Seed to Seed”.

Littlejohn says, “We try to do as much as we can for the students to jump start their careers. The ‘Seed to Seed’ show was a celebration of their amazing work and to help get their resumes going.”

He also plans on curating a second exhibition showcasing the students’ works. This one he says will be open to all students who submit their pieces. The first show was art handpicked by him.

As for his own personal projects, Littlejohn says, “Right now I’m regrouping—more exploration as the pandemic dies down. I’m waiting for a project that feels right.”  

He also is on the Fine Arts Department’s video series called “Artists in Their Studios” that can be viewed on YouTube.

His advice to aspiring students is to make the most of art classes and training. Littlejohn says, “If your putting in the time, try to get something out of it. I never took a class just to take a class.”

CSN student Sara Deasy is inspired with art after enrolling in an art class as an elective. She says, “Before my art class I wasn’t aware of the different exhibits and venues on campus. It peaked my interest and now I will definitely be keeping up on what is happening on campus and in Vegas.”

Littlejohn teaches several courses including 3-D classes, drawing and design, which he calls the important fundamentals of art. “I love teaching, I can flush out my ideas and designs with the students and get their feedback.”

For more information about Littlejohn’s artwork click this link LITTLEJOHN STUDIO.

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