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Telling the Story of Cannabis with the Duchess of Deco

Cannabition, the immersive cannabis-themed attraction located on Las Vegas’ historic Fremont Street, is looking to bring more to the traditional museum experience than a few dry exhibits. Instead of static exhibitions, the museum includes educational and interactive experiences as well as breathtaking murals that tell the story of the cannabis plant and the culture around it.

As its first exhibit installation, Cannabition commissioned a giant 170-ft mural installation that will feature of the community’s most prolific and well-known artists, Heather Hermann and Gear Duran. Also known as the Duchess of Art Deco, Heather Hermann is a Las Vegas native with a passion for historical preservation and, of course, art.

The Duchess Has Arrived: Capturing a Movement Through Art with Heather Hermann

making art deco history with heather hermann

As a storyteller, an artist, and a Las Vegas native, Heather Hermann isn’t afraid of hard work or a challenge. In just a few short weeks, Hermann and her partner, Gear Duran will be wrapping Cannabition Immersive Cannabis Museum in rich murals that detail the ancient past, the infancy of legalization, and the hope of the future for cannabis culture.

For all intents and purposes, the Cannabition Mural is a project defined by passion, preservation, and the irrepressible Sin City flair that Hermann has dedicated a lifetime to preserving.

Weaving the story of cannabis in a 170-foot mural

“I earned [the title Duchess of Art Deco from many experienced years of dedicating my life to the historical preservation, aesthetic archiving, performance art, and artistry surrounding around Art Deco and all of the generational sub-genres,” she said. “I will be handling a portion of the install over the entrance that will feature an Art Deco/Nouveau piece highlighting on 1920’s Devils Reefer propaganda with a classic design from the period.”

Much like the pieces she and Duran are working on for Cannabition, Hermann’s multi-faceted portfolio includes paintings, stunning costume design, sculpture, and modeling; all of which harken to 1980’s sci-fi sensibilities punctuated with intergalactic undertones.

The 170-ft mural being completed by Duran and Hermann is accompanied by a one-of-kind mural on the museum’s ticket booth, a sculpture on the second floor of Neonopolis, and an immersive mural of the Tokyo Skyline behind the cannabis museum’s 26-ft bong, ‘Bongzilla.’’

duchess of art deco heather hermann

“We are designing a larger than life and visually impactful mural that takes you through monumental steps in cannabis history,” said Hermann. “From its roots in Ancient China all the way to a futurism we have not experienced yet.”

The cannabis museum in downtown Las Vegas is not Hermann’s first big-ticket project. As a creator who works in a variety of mediums, Hermann’s works have been featured in everything from music videos to local Las Vegas landmarks. In fact, Hermann’s work played a key role in the revitalization of Synthwave, a subgenre of electronic music that was featured in virtually any sci-fi or space movie from or set in the 1980’s.

Diving deep into the future through reimagining the past

According to Hermann, the overarching deco futurism style of her artwork was first implemented in the 1930s and exaggerated to fantastical heights during the 1980s. Anyone who’s ever seen a futuristic 80’s movie, sci-fi animated series or even played the neon-soaked video game “Far Cry: Blood Dragon” can see the very apparent influences.

Another influence in her work, albeit one that’s a bit more subtle, are elements and distant memories of her childhood. Born in 1988, Hermann uses her photographic memory to take long-remembered elements of her late 80’s-early 90’s childhood and incorporates them brilliantly in her work. “There are so many small insignificant points visually within my earliest years of life that influenced my future greatly.” Hermann said.

“Whether that be the beautiful neon-laden pastel pillars inside of a mall, hearing music like Genesis for the first time, the brass railings on a stairwell, or simply being pushed around in a stroller around something as simple as a department store. There is an comforting eerie quality to it. When we are older, our brain backtracks to fill in the pieces of those memories and becomes a very colorful abstract puzzle.”

Hermann’s partner, and co-collaborator, Gear Duran, has built his own reputation for unique and out of this world work. After meeting through art galleries across Vegas and subsequently dating, Hermann and Duran have developed a unique connection as partners and creative collaborators.

“Underneath both of our belts, we are multifaceted in several different mediums.  Although each of our approaches may be different, the end result is something that is crafted with love and care.”

Enjoy Cannabition Before Our Doors Open by Visiting Neonopolis

While Cannabition won’t be open to the public until September 2018, you can see the fruits of Hermann and Duran’s labors already. Stop by Neonopolis, or better yet, buy your tickets to be one of the first to experience Cannabition.

All Photos Courtesy of Heather Hermann

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