Nestled among the quaint shops and businesses in Water Street District, Henderson native Valerie LaPorta is continuing her famed mother’s art legacy as owner and director of Elayne LaPorta Fine Arts. In the process, Valerie is satisfying her own love of art and art lovers as her mother’s artwork is showcased in homes, businesses, galleries, dealers and museums throughout the world.
For more than 60 years, Elayne LaPorta brought spiritual themes to life in a unique way that yielded her much recognition. Now deceased, she received the 2005 Mother Teresa Award for Religious Folk Art and an honorable mention in the 1993 Billy Graham Center Museum, Sacred Arts Exhibit. Her biography and work have been included in “Who’s Who in American Art” for many years. Elayne’s background was archaeological studies and a cross referencing system she employed to validate her work.
Elayne LaPorta’s detailed folk paintings and limited edition prints are known for their palette of colors inspired by dramatic themes from the Bible. Using a unique American folk concept she called, “Naïveté,” she developed an appealing relationship between biblical art and artistic expression and found her niche translating spiritual scenes into oils and prints.
Elayne LaPorta Fine Arts is the only gallery to feature this type of art. It also boasts an impressive collection of specially designed furniture and one-of-a-kind precious stone jewelry.
Though the gallery is only open from noon to 5 p.m., Thursday through Saturday – and by appointment – it also hosts a variety of limited engagement artist exhibits throughout the year. Valerie introduces a world-renowned artist, inventor and/or art instructor to local art enthusiasts during an annual November event.
“My parents and I opened the gallery in 2008 as another way to express our love for Christian art and the Americana Group paintings in the Naïveté manner, and make them more accessible to our area,” said Valerie. “Having a piece of Elayne’s art is really a gift of giving.” She added, “Growing up here, we love the Water Street area. We also appreciate the City of Henderson’s commitment to develop Water Street District and support of the arts.”
Valerie’s parents moved from New York to Henderson in 1945 when her father Lou was transferred for additional flight training at Las Vegas Army Air Base (now Nellis Air Force Base). They subsequently opened and operated an insurance agency for years on Water Street and built the commercial space know as Henderson Townsite Center. where the gallery now resides. “It’s a nice feeling to come full circle,” added Valerie. “Customers who are unfamiliar with Water Street District and come to the gallery usually comment on its uniqueness and that of the town. They are very interested to know our history, and I love sharing it.”
Elayne LaPorta Fine Arts is open from noon to 5 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The store number is 702-568-1166 or call 702-581-0942 for an appointment. Visit www.elaynelaporta.com.
Elayne LaPorta Fine Arts
121 S. Water Street
Henderson, NV 89015