The Eye on the Street: Ras One

Curator of the street art in and around the 18b Arts District

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Photo by Zack W

Photo by Zack W

ACHIEVEMENTS: Ras has curated what amounts to the city’s biggest art gallery by rounding up street artists to create some two-dozen murals in the streets and alleys of 18b. Every one of them is an explosion of urban color and style—and they’ve proven so popular with locals and visitors alike that newlyweds have begun using them as backdrops for photos.

HOW’D HE DO THAT? Ras talked to 18b business owners whose buildings were being tagged continuously, offering to cover those trouble spots with murals and even do free touch-ups if the murals were tagged. A number of businesses agreed, and Ras invited some 60 artists to transform their walls over one weekend. “It was 100 percent grass-roots,” says Ras—created without help from the City or any other agency.

COMING UP: He plans to oversee the creation of “culturally empowering murals” with QR codes that kids can scan to learn more about the mural and the artist who made it. And he hopes to travel the world with his own art this year, “representing Vegas and getting the word out that there are cats out here really doing it.”

WHY HE DOES IT: “We’re No. 1 in the nation for entertainment, but we’ve also got some of the worst schools. If art is not going to be embraced by our schools, then it’s imperative for us as artists to step up and create outlets.”

ABOUT THAT COOL NAME: It’s derived from “rasta,” and was given to him by longtime KUNV 91.5-FM reggae DJ Stan Rankin T.

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