The Historic Westside neighborhood of Las Vegas welcomed a new mural Wednesday at NHSSN’s Jefferson West Community! Further celebrating community-focused public art, “WE, WESTSIDE” debuted in front of local leaders and community members on June 28, 2023.
The mural was funded by “The Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE,” a non-profit organization. The chosen artist was Iandry Randriamandroso and this is his second mural within the Westside.
Iandry explains his vision and overall design: The overall design is meant to look like a quilt design. To me, a quilt and the process of quilt making – sewing small pieces of fabrics to create a larger cover which keeps warm – represent a labor of love, patience, resourcefulness, creativity, uniqueness, beauty, diversity, history, heritage, and the connection to the past, present, and future. The design is composed of a typography of “WE, WESTSIDE” with an Adinkra symbol “Sankofa” and various colors and sizes of rectangle shapes.
I chose the words “WE, WESTSIDE” to celebrate, honor and give pride to the Las Vegas Westside’s History, Place and People. I borrowed the “Sankofa”, an Adinkra symbol originated from the Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast, West Africa. “Sankofa” means “to fetch”. The symbol is an illustration of a mythical bird turning its head back fetching an egg. The broad meaning of the Sankofa symbol is from the Akan proverb “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi”, “It is not a taboo to go back for what you forgot (or left behind).” In my design, it is meant to represent people who made, make and will make Westside their home.
At the unveiling, Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada’s COO, Kathy Freeman, spoke of the importance of bringing more art to the Westside. Specifically referencing the Sankofa mythical bird illustration and the importance of having pride in our history, learning from it, and moving forward to build a stronger future together.