When art imitates life: The message and purpose of Life Cube

The art-filled Life Cube in downtown Las Vegas (George Romero | KSNV News 3)

Artists from all over the valley are heading to downtown Las Vegas this week to leave their mark on the Life Cube. It's a community project that gives everyone a chance to express themselves in a public forum.

But the project does have a shelf life. On April 2, 2016, the cube will be set on fire. The creator of the project was inspired by the Burning Man Festival, but instead of trekking to the middle of the desert, his vision was to bring the spectacle to the middle of the city.

"I think as artists we sometimes have a fear of not going with society's fit," said Oziah Manor.

Manor is just 17-years-old, but his talent far exceeds his age.

"I started around the age of 8," he said.

Keeping his earbuds firmly in place, Oziah found a spot at the Life Cube project and let his vision come to life.

"The biggest thing for me when people do see it, is what do you take from it? I know it's just a face but all of my art has a hidden message in it," said Manor.

The message is different for everyone who passes by. Just like everything displayed on the 24X24 foot public canvas, what is created is limited only by imagination.

"People will paint over other people's paintings and it's all fine, and there's no rules, there's no coloring in the lines," said Scott Cohen, Creator of Life Cube Project. "Anybody can come, it is all free. There is no charge for anything. We offer paints, we offer chalk for people to chalk on the pavement."

Cohen brought the Life Cube project to downtown in 2014. One of Cohen's favorite pieces is a tapestry wall designed by school children. The messages range from inspirational to highly personal. The hopes, dreams, and goals of thousands of artists on display for everyone to read.

"The vibe down here is really awesome," said Dana Gifford, a local mother.

Gifford brought her 8-year-old son to see the cube on Wednesday and she made a paint donation while she was there.

"I do work at Lowe's. I had reached out to a rep to see what I can do and giving back to the community is huge and I wanted my son to see that," she said.

Like all good things, the cube will not be part of downtown Las Vegas forever. But why burn such a personal piece of art? Creator Scott Cohen says it's simple.

"All those goals and dreams go up into the universe," he said.

As for Oziah...

"I have a lot of offers like for football and all that, but art is life, I love this," he said.

Oziah is considering a future in art. He says it is a gift from his soul to the world. Even if passersby have no artistic ability, everyone is welcome to contribute to the project.

Want to learn more about life cube? Check out the website here.

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