Up Close and On High with Artist Mallory Dawn
By Stacey Gualandi | Photos By Emily Westberg
Mallory Dawn has just spent a long, hot weekend creating a visual masterpiece on a massive corrugated metal wall inside the Las Vegas headquarters of the luxe resort, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. It followed a 48-hour stint on a ladder painting a life-size mural inside a client’ s southern Nevada home. And before that, she spent five nonstop days at the holistic healing center Hope4Cancer, in Cancun, Mexico, where she painted a 60-foot mural to help brighten the experience of the folks being treated there.
Now, Dawn is taking a short, albeit a much-needed break…though the visual artist makes standing on a 20-foot ladder while on top of a ledge seem like just another day at the office for a creative who thrives on embracing any unique challenge that is put in her path. “ It drives me to learn,” says Dawn, who lives in Downtown Las Vegas. “ It takes me out of my comfort zone. I never say no when it comes to something challenging. I’ m like, ‘ Ok, sure: I’ ve never done this, but let’ s figure it out!’”
With a stroke of a brush, that resourceful attitude has catapulted Dawn to new heights (literally and figuratively) in relatively short order. In addition to elite locations like The Cosmopolitan’ s inner sanctum, Dawn has been commissioned to lend her eye and touch to the foyer of the resort’ s steakhouse, STK (…the mammoth painting in the restaurant’ s entry—featuring the brand’ s sexy-legged woman with a cleaver behind her back—is Dawn’ s work). She’ s also painted at the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas; her work is hanging at the nightclub Jewel at Aria Resort and Casino on the Strip; she’ s painted in private residences across the Las Vegas Valley; and at venues in Los Angeles and Laguna Beach, Calif., and New York City. Much of her work is driven through word-of-mouth gush. And bypassing a more traditional commissioner-artist exchange of a customer asking for something particular and an artist going along with the ask, when a potential client contacts Dawn, she spends significant time getting to know them…a favorite aspect of her painting.
“ Relationship-building is one of my biggest strengths as an artist,” she says. “ That will allow me to understand what they want and bring it to fruition. It’ s an amazing creative process for me: it opens up more and more ideas in ways to see the world. That’ s why I continue to do it,” she says.
Dawn can’ t remember when she first picked up a paintbrush yet says that as a girl, she remembers always wanting to paint in a Paris park. Growing up on an Ohio farm where there wasn’ t a lot to do, at one point, the self-described science nerd thought about being a veterinarian but soon realized she was too emotional about animals. Next…art became her interest. […] Continue reading on Page 38-39