Ruel James Gallery Grand Opening

Ruel James Gallery

Photos by Nikki Artale

It was a great day on March 26, 2011 when Ruel James had a grand opening of his gallery at 2121 Industrial Road #215 in Las Vegas NV. Friends, family, local entertainers and the media were present to honor Ruel and celebrate the grand opening of his studio.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was done by Tony Sacca as he officially cut the ribbon and opened the Gallery to the mass of well wishers who attended.

Tony Sacca, Douglas Crawford, Sheryl James, Cynthia Schram and Ruel James

Manager Douglas Crawford and Ruel James announced that they were entertaining offers from all over the world for Ruel’s paintings and artistry. Ruel’s paintings and sculptures are fascinating and they touch the heart and soul. His love comes through as he molds and forms the clay, bringing them to life and creating a masterpiece of love.

                                          Douglas Crawford and Ruel James
Joseph LaVigna, the Executive Singing Chef catered the event and the dessert table was outstanding. Joseph should add Smiling to the chef title because he has a beautiful welcoming smile and everyone loved him and his food.

Joseph LaVigna and Ruel
A silent auction was held at the event and Ruel donated an original painting and ten percent of all proceeds and sales will benefit the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society.

Car art, Black art and Celebrity art are just a few artistic forms of his creations. I found myself wandering in and out of the rooms of the gallery over and over again, gazing and admiring the beauty his creations.

                                           Car Art

Admiring the sculptures and paintings were Victoria Alexander, Tony Sacca & Rob Goald.

One of my favorite paintings is a black & white portrait of Sheryl James which is displayed in the entry of the Gallery, amongst all the vibrant color paintings in the room. It boldly stands out and it is mesmerizing.

And last but not least is the remaining mobster’s heads, resting in peace. The Mob Experience will have a Media opening on March 29, 2011 at The Tropicana. You will see the mobsters throughout the show with some dressed in their original clothes. Next weeks story will feature The Mob Experience.

Ruel James can be reached at 702 612-2016 and

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo
I first learned about the artist Frida Kahlo in 2002 when Salma Hayek portrayed her in the movie “Frida”. Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico. Her life began and ended in Mexico City. Her life was tragic and full of suffering and pain due to an accident when she was 18 years old. Frida was riding a bus that collided with a trolley and was severely injured and spent many months in a body cast. She had a broken spinal column, pelvis and many other fractures. Eventually after 35 operations she recovered but had relapses of pain for the rest of her life.

Frida started painting in her bed, painting herself, because she was the subject she knew best. She was best known for her self portraits in which she painted her own reality.

Her pain and suffering is shown through her paintings which have bold and rich colors and outstanding symbols and animals.

Many have described her as being a surrealist because she had dramatic imagery and painted from her dreams and visions. Her artistry is both tense and vibrant works of art.

Frida had known Diego Rivera as a young girl and she wanted his opinion if she should continue painting. Diego encouraged her to continue because he saw great promise in her works. As they continued to work together, they fell in love and married. History reveals that they were both each others true loves.

Frida has painted over 100 paintings and they hang in galleries all over the world. The World Market in Las Vegas NV had a showing for several weeks last summer and attracted many locals and tourists to view her beautiful works. The paintings were intense and meant so much more viewing them because I had seen the movies and felt her suffering. Frida died after many years of illness’s and a leg amputation at the age of 47.

Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon was at ease as he performed in The Pearl Showroom at The Palms Resort Casino. On March 5-6, 2011 he performed both days at an 8 and 10 pm show to a full house. His jokes about his life with his wife Mariah Carey were so funny and at times I wondered if she was okay with what he was sharing about Mariah. I soon found out that she actually helped him write the material and he referred to himself as a boy toy. The show was being taped for a comedy special, something that he has been working towards his whole life.

Nick Cannon did a great job at impersonating Denzel Washington with spot on imitations of his movements and accent. It was evident by the audience response to his jokes about Denzel.

Connie Brown & Nikki Artale

The Improv, the Comedy Store and The Laugh Factory were places that Nick refined his comedy. He has lots of time to perfect his skills on his radio show “Rolling with Nick Cannon”.

Nick Cannon has a long list on his resume of being a comedian, writer, musician, executive producer and actor. Nick starred in Drumline, Men in Black and is the host of America’s Got Talent. As a host, he has brought a lot of laughter and fun to the show. Nick sings and dances with some of the contestants after they have performed to take away some of their embarrassment if the performance was not good.
He loves Sin City and he left us with these words, “Go out there and do some sinning and go get resaved again at church when you get home”.  Video

Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson

Photos by Nikki Artale

Gold Coast Classics is alive and well in the showroom at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino featuring free afternoon shows with live music. I spent a wonderful afternoon listening to Michelle Johnson singing many popular songs from The Great American Songbook.
Michelle Johnson appears at the Gold Coast, Tuesday through Friday from 2pm to 5pm, once a month, accompanied by Mike Tramontana on the drums and Billy Moran on the keyboard. She is an accomplished singer, songwriter, producer and a great entertainer, who can sing many songs on request.

Michelle Johnson
Mike Tramontana
Not only does the audience love her music, they also love to dance and on a Wednesday the dance floor is completely full for the entire three hours. I enjoyed watching the talented dancers as they whirled around the large dance floor.
Lily is a loyal fan who comes to every show and when she enters the room, Michelle plays her favorite song “My Way”. Lily spoke to Michelle on her break and showed her appreciation as a fan.

At three years old, Michelle started singing and at four years old, started piano lessons. Her father was the Liberian Ambassador to Egypt, representing the United Nations and they lived for 12 years in Cairo, Egypt. Michelle attended Yale University and then moved to New York and then onto Las Vegas for the warm climate and the entertainment opportunities.

Michelle’s first job was in “Country Fever” at the Golden Nugget. Besides the acting and singing she also is sought out by major corporations and by trade shows as a talent producer.
After she completes the day portion of events, she goes to the Las Vegas Hilton where she appears as Sister Hubert in “Nunsense”. An award winning musical comedy, it was nominated beside two major hit shows “Phantom” and “Lion King”. I saw all three shows and “Nunsense” did deserve the nomination.

The nuns are all friends and that shows in their performances and interaction together on the stage. Sister Hubert is Mistress of the novices and it is her job to teach them the rules and protocol so they can become full fledged nuns. She is second in command to Reverend Mother. Sister Hubert believes that Reverend Mother is clueless and that she should be running the convent. The nuns have run out of money to bury some of the nuns who were poisoned by bad soup. They are buried in the freezer and the nuns have to raise money for the burials.

The acting and comedy is great and the singing is fantastic. This is a must see show and you will get to meet the nuns outside the theater, following the show.