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The inner voiceEthiopia is a world away from the neon lights of Las Vegas, but for Eyob Mergia, an artist and film student at the College of Southern Nevada, the colors of his homeland are always with him through his artwork.

An exhibit of Mergia’s paintings, titled “The Meskel Festival,” will be featured at the Nevada Arts Council’s Legislative eXhibition Series (LXS) at the Nevada State Legislative building beginning Monday, May 22 through June 9. Mergia is the final of six Nevada artists whose work has been featured during the biennial session of the legislature.

Mergia grew up in Ethiopian highlands, studying classical art at the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art. After moving to the U.S. in 1997, he briefly continued his art studies in South Dakota, where he encountered Cubism and other modernist tendencies. His educational influences – one toward realism and one toward abstraction – are tempered by a third: traditional art of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

“The Meskel Festival,” for which his exhibition is named, is an annual religious holiday in Ethiopia held every Sept. 27. Yellow daisies are a key symbol of the holiday as they signify the rising of Jesus Christ from death. As a child attending the festival, Mergia drew insight and inspiration for his art.

Today, he is an abstract impressionist painter, photographer and film director and editor. He is known for his large drawings and multi-panel paintings and mural art.

Managed by the Artist Services Program of the Nevada Arts Council, the LXS Gallery space is located on the first floor in the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City. The gallery is across the hall from the Caucus Deli. It is open to the public, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Read more