Las Vegas Sun

October 31, 2014

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Arts community opens its eyes to Nevada

Well, well, well. Who's laughing at us now? No one.

Nevada is the featured state in the spring/summer issue of Public Art Review.

Sure, it took next weekend's arrival of the Americans for the Arts annual convention to get us on the pages of the national journal, but why not gloat anyway?

The semiannual glossy publication with 10,000 readers has a featured state each issue.

"Viva! Nevada" looks at the Neon Boneyard, Claes Oldenburg's upside-down flashlight sculpture at UNLV and Michael Heizer's earthwork "Double Negative," north of Overton. Other nods go to the video work "Sky Is the Limit" on the Fremont Street canopy, "The Scarlet Letter" mural at the Sahara West Library, Dale Chihuly's "Fiori di Como" at the Bellagio, "Winged Features of the Republic" at Hoover Dam and Albert Szukalski's "The Last Supper" at Goldwell Open Air Museum at the base of the ghost town Rhyolite.

Northern Nevada works include Don Gray's "Basque Mural" in Ely, David Fambrough's "Bug Spider" in Reno and, of course, Burning Man - more specifically, photography of the ephemeral sculptures.

A little fun is had at the quirkiness of some of the work found in "the only state in the union with legalized prostitution."

Public Art Review is a Forecast Public Artworks publication in St. Paul, Minn., which serves to advance public art nationwide. The journal has been examining public art since 1989.

Details: www.forecastpublicart.org

Images, images

We've got murals, lights, more murals, more lights, gaudy architecture and lots of pizazz. But if the real thing isn't enough to get your juices flowing, pick up a copy of Francois Paolini's "LasVegARTS landscapes."

The 96-page soft-bound bilingual - French and English - book (published in April by La Maison d'ete-Paris) is a dandy that manages to combine and encapsulate the razzle-dazzle of Las Vegas glitz, mural work and signs by its artists.

The 135 color photographs, printed on offset art paper, feature a Las Vegas known more by locals than tourists.

Images taken, assembled and sometimes posterized by the French photographer include the mural on downtown's Funkhouse and the now-covered-by-the-artist murals that were painted by artist Dray on the cottages at Colorado Avenue and Casino Center Boulevard. There are centennial murals, downtown storefront signs, well-composed images of the Art Bar, the Community College of Southern Nevada's multicolored West Charleston Campus and the artfully posed artifacts in the Neon Boneyard.

He captured the light shows on the Fremont Street canopy, neon mounted on Fremont Street by the Neon Museum, casino architecture and ostentatious interiors.

The book includes a sampling of images from his earlier book, "We All Live in Vegas" (Stephens Press, 2005).

Although we have the privilege of visiting most of these landmarks, the story through Paolini's lens is worthwhile.

Details: www.lasvegarts.com

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