LAS VEGAS - Imagine gazing at a 30-foot wide panorama of a Red Rock Canyon sunset while making a teller transaction or walking around a branch where orange Desert Globemallows, bright yellow Desert Marigolds, lavender Asters and other vibrant indigenous desert plants peek out from almost every wall. Not many credit unions have a resident artist on staff, so Clark County Credit Union has made the most of Business Development Vice President Mark Andrews' photographic talents to further its brand in the latest branch. "We wanted this branch to have a unique character," said Andrews. "So when Judy Clark, the vice president of operations here asked if I could prepare wall hangings instead of using the modern art suggested by the architect, it happened to coincide with the desert's spring bloom and the images seemed a perfect match for the hatching of a new branch." No stranger to the art scene, Andrews has spent his life capturing beauty and creating images on film. His first camera, a box Brownie given to him by his mother was used to photograph his first mountain experience in New Mexico as a Boy Scout. "I love it out there," said Andrews. "Nature is honest and fair. It treats us all the same. And a beautiful photo cannot be `taken' from nature. It is a gift to the artist willing to be ready, and to watch." According to Andrews he was hooked from that moment and later earned a college degree in communications. He entered the world of commercial art and opened a full-service advertising agency in Las Vegas doing design work for credit unions in the area for over 20 years. Best known for his method that involves a blend of old and new technology, Andrews uses a handcrafted wooden camera, which folds up easily, creates 4-inch by 5-inch negatives and offers him superior focusing ability and more control. Prints are then treated to his giclee process, which is like a watercolor process. To capture the constant changes of nature's light, Andrews uses digital technology to rub color into highlights and shadows. Andrews has waived any royalty charges for the branch display. Local select employee group Nevada Color Litho, a custom color printing facility, processed all of the artwork showcased at the new 4,000 square-foot branch. "Our employees are very proud to have participated in creating this unique artwork," said Wes Drysdale, plant director for Nevada Color Litho. "Visitors to the new branch will be fascinated by the vivid color and detailed texture of the desert landscapes." Though a self-described dyed-in-the-wool capitalist entrepreneur Andrews joined CCCU, which had been a 15-year client of his old advertising agency, and has enjoyed being a staff member. "We hit it off instantly. It is a very forward-looking credit union," said Andrews. "Our President/CEO is a great man to work for and pretty much lets you evaluate and operate under your own stewardship-which works great for me." The blending of Andrews' talent with the credit union brand evolved from an older logo, which was a mountain design logo resembling the highest peak of Mount Charleston. Four years ago a new logo was needed but the credit union wanted to maintain the local valley flavor. Since Clark County is located in the Mohave Desert Andrews drew upon the images around him to create a more commercialized logo that members could still identify with. From press kits and folders, to the Web site and member services pamphlets/brochures, Andrews' nature scenes quickly became a CCCU branding signature. "So far the overall response from members has been wonderful," said Andrews. "There are members who have taken out loans with us who come back in to refinance or update information carrying the same folders we stored the documents in years ago. I guess it is easy for them to spot in their file cabinets." Other examples of Andrews work can also be seen on his Web site, markandrews.com. -email@example.com
Clark County CU creates own brand of art
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