Las Vegas Sun

November 25, 2014

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Artful Insights

Sarah Johnson takes visitors beyond the wall text

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Beverly Poppe

Sarah Johnson, assistant manager of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

Available throughout the hotel, the Bellagio Cocktail mixes fresh passion fruit purée, Alizé red liqueur and Rotari sparkling wine.

Available throughout the hotel, the Bellagio Cocktail mixes fresh passion fruit purée, Alizé red liqueur and Rotari sparkling wine.

Las Vegas is about to get a long-overdue infusion of culture, and it's up to Sarah Johnson to spread the word.

The assistant manager of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, where 12+7: Artists and Architects of CityCenter is on display through April, Johnson spends her time educating school groups about the importance of the soon-to-open complex, which counts Frank Stella and Helmut Jahn among its contributors.

"It's a great exhibition to really show how Las Vegas is now going to be on the map as an artist's destination," Johnson said.

Her goal, she told Las Vegas Magazine, is to "open up people's eyes and really tell the behind-the-scenes story" of CityCenter, its designers and its artists.

A native of Wadsworth, Ohio, Johnson was studying design at Ohio State when she fell in love with art history. Switching majors, she turned her focus instead to Hindu and Buddhist art. We're not sure if ancient depictions of Ganesh or Vishnu will find a home in the Bellagio gallery anytime soon, but if they do, there's one lucky employee waiting to greet them.

"It's like Christmas," she said of being able to unwrap the artwork as it arrives. "It's the most amazing feeling."

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