Exit interview Part 5: Kyla Hansen

Kyla Hansen provides us with our fifth in an on-going series of interviews with artists soon departing Vegas for elsewhere. Kyla begins her graduate work at Claremont in the fall. We wish her the best and hope to see new work soon. Go Kyla go!



Your original Las Vegas dream:

This may not be a “dream”, but when I moved here I really wanted to park cars at a casino… because you make cash while you’re staying thin… and that seemed quintessentially “Vegas” to me.

On your connections:

I see Mike Tyson on a fairly regular basis.

On casino executives and the media:

I thought they were the same people.

The popularity of poker:

I love video poker. I have since I was a kid. (My uncle got me a small video poker slot machine for Christmas one year). Since Bingo is only on odd hours, Brian & I end up playing a lot of double double bonus poker between bingo games.

What you’ll miss most about Las Vegas:

Its’ optimism. Despite being an incredibly harsh place, it seems to maintain a feeling of possibility. Even in the midst of an economic climate worse than Detroit’s, Vegas is still looking forward, assured that things will turn around (even if, in reality they may not). That kind of optimism is infectious… and I’ll miss it.

If you’re going to miss the Eureka, his [Dave Hickey’s] favorite neighborhood casino:

I know this may sound redundant (Brian has mentioned)… while we will not miss the Eureka we will dearly miss Arizona Charlie’s on Decatur. We LOVE bingo there… It’s the best in town… seriously. It changed our lives for about 3 months… we went every week.

What you won’t miss about Las Vegas:

The harshness. It’s toughened me up a little, but I’m ready for somewhere a little softer.

Also, my skin is in a continual state of peeling because it is so dry here. The skin that connects the earlobe to the face was cracked the entire first year I was here. Every time I would pull my shirt over my head to change, it would catch on my ears and make them bleed. Plus, no amount of expensive face cream, or miracle serum has been able to keep my nose from flaking. It’s all very disgusting and I won’t miss it.

What that last class at UNLV was:

… My last BFA class in the ceramics lab… I really love all those people.

What you will be doing at the [enter your new city here]:

I’ll be attending Claremont Graduate University, which I am so thankful for. The faculty is amazing. My first semester I’ll be taking studio time with Rachel Lachowicz… I read about her in art history! Claremont has beautiful studios, amazing facilities, the art office ladies have been so nice already… so all I’ll have to worry about is making artwork, and that sounds pretty great.

If you’re ready to start over:

I am really looking forward to starting new. I’m ready to take better care of myself and take myself more seriously. I think it’s really easy to get ahead of yourself in Vegas. I spent way more money than I care to remember and had more meals at 7-11s than one person should. I’m looking forward to living very simply again. It’s been very cathartic to mine through all my things and keep only the few things I really need. Our house is slowly becoming more white as the rooms empty.

What kind of city you’re leaving behind:

In ten years it should be fine.

If CityCenter was the right answer:

I’m mostly indifferent about it. It feels a bit like entering an airport… and a bit like the entrance to space mountain in Disneyland. I feel much more excited at the entrance to space mountain.

What’s to fear about Las Vegas in the future:

It makes me really sad whenever I listen to KNPR and they’re talking about the water shortages that Vegas will face in the very near future. I really developed a pride for Vegas in the short time I was here & I hope that it will continue to, as it always has, grow and change.

What Las Vegas is going to miss about you:

I don’t think I’m a big enough deal to be asked this question yet.

Images: Casa Walsh, Alta Dena, CA; Duncan

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