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March 3, 2015

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Las Vegas Art Museum closing next week

Museum officials hope to reopen when economy turns around


Steve Marcus

Smoke Signal, Rope Umbilical” is acrylic on canvas by Wendell Gladstone that is part of “L.A. Now,” an exhibit of emerging artists’ work that opened in December at the Las Vegas Art Museum.

Beyond the Sun

The Las Vegas Art Museum is closing its doors.

The museum will close Feb. 28. Staff and board members say the museum will remain an entity and keep its name so that it can possibly reemerge when the economy improves. Members and docents were notified this afternoon.

“We’ve tried everything to keep this afloat. It’s just a challenging time,” says Patrick Duffy, president to the museum’s board. “The economic climate has eliminated several of our donations and or reduced them significantly.”

The decision comes less than three months after executive director Libby Lumpkin resigned because the board announced that budget cuts would affect salaries and result in possible layoffs.

Lumpkin joined the museum in 2005 and with the board took the institution from a community art center to a contemporary art museum, featuring exhibits that included “Southern California Minimalism,” including work by Robert Irwin, John McCracken and James Turrell; a Frank Gehry exhibit; and “Las Vegas Diaspora: The Emergence of Contemporary Art from the Neon Homeland.”

“Las Vegas Diaspora” featured the work of artists who had studied at UNLV with Dave Hickey.

It’s current exhibit “L.A. Now,” curated by art critic David Pagel, features work by Los Angeles contemporary artists.

The museum formed 59 years ago as an art league. In 1974 it became a fine art museum and in 1997 it moved into the Sahara West Library on 9600 W. Sahara Ave.

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