December, 2007

Las Vegas’ Main Gallery holds benefit show for Opportunity Village

December 31st, 2007

Main Gallery
(Photo courtesy Main Gallery)

Main Gallery (1009 S. Main St.) may have just opened in April 2007, but its already become a fixture in Las Vegas’ Arts District, featuring cutting-edge contemporary art exhibits, garnering press in the Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Weekly and Racket magazine.

Now the Main Gallery is giving back to the community with a benefit exhibition for Opportunity Village running from Jan. 18 – Feb. 8. Featuring the work of eight artists from Opportunity Village’s Arts & Enrichment Program, all proceeds from any art sales will be donated to Opportunity Village. Guests to the reception, held Friday, Jan. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m., are encouraged to bring a donation of art supplies for the program. There will also be a silent auction held that evening to benefit the charity.

For more information, call Main Gallery at (702) 257-MAIN or visit

Joe Clark’s creative art lamps overtake Fallout gallery

December 28th, 2007

Joe Clark art lampIs it a lamp? Is it art? Is it form over function?

You can decide for yourself when you visit the Fallout (1551 S. Commerce St.) to scope out the new exhibition by Joe Clark, “So Rare II,” on display throughout the month of January. The new installation of art lamps will take patrons from the past to the present as they move through the exhibit.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, Jan. 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit or call (702) 269-3111.

Going the extra.ordinary mile at CAC

December 26th, 2007

extra.ordinaryThree UNLV graduates are joining forces — and distinct styles — to present one heck of a show at the Contemporary Arts Collective gallery (inside the Arts Factory, 101 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite 101) this January. The exhibit, entitled “extra.ordinary,” features the works of Zak Ostrowski, Grayson Ronk and Barret Thomson, whose different approaches will explore “closely related underlying conceptual themes and ideas.”

A reception for “extra.ordinary” will be held on Thursday, Jan. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. The trio’s art will be available for viewing until Jan. 26. For more information, visit or call (702) 382-3886.

R-J reports on ups and downs for Vegas Arts District

December 25th, 2007

I saw the sign.

Alan Choate wrote an interesting, in-a-nutshell article about the progress of development in Las Vegas’ ever-struggling Arts District in yesterday’s Review-Journal, spurned by the relocation of Mark Rowland’s Homage graphic studio to the S2 building at Main Street and Charleston Boulevard.

Tender this with derision over the proposed “gateway” arches planned for the very same intersection, well-reported in this Las Vegas Sun article from Oct. 23. Oh, hell, while you’re at it, scope out plans for the Smith Center in yet another Sun article from that month, since it was mentioned in Choate’s report as well.

‘Beneath the Neon’ author goes solo, gets creative

December 20th, 2007

Las Vegas CityLife staff writer and former news editor Matthew O’Brien announced yesterday on his blog that he’ll be leaving the alternative weekly paper after 10 years as a writer and editor for the Stephens Media publication.

Matt O’Brien“I want to challenge myself more as a ‘creative’ writer,” O’Brien wrote at “I want to write more books, screenplays, essays, commentaries, book reviews, etc., and less news stories and news briefs. While I really like reporting, I want to use my own voice more. It’s time for new challenges.”

This announcement comes in the wake of the loss of another long-time CityLife staffer, Kevin Capp, as well as the success of O’Brien’s first book, Beneath the Neon. Released earlier this year, the Huntington Press publication — based on a series of articles originally published in the CityLife by O’Brien and Joshua Ellis — received positive notices all around for its explorations into the lives of the homeless beneath the streets of Las Vegas. The author took an extended sabbatical from his CityLife duties a few years ago to work on the book, which, according to his website, he is developing into a screenplay.

Put down the Wal-Mart gift card; pick up some homegrown art

December 18th, 2007

City of the World gallery

‘Tis maybe the season to be jolly, but for most Americans–especially those car-confined, harried Las Vegans–the holiday season is all about consumerism and last-minute freaking out (or, as some call it, “holiday shopping”). Well, we know you VEGASinsight readers are a different lot–you appreciate music, art and culture, right? So why don’t you share that appreciation with your loved ones?

City of the World, a non-profit gallery located in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District at 1229 S. Casino Center (at Colorado), is holding a “Super Saturday Art Sale” on Dec. 22 from 1 – 9 p.m. A number of the featured artists will be on hand for you to haggle with over prices. City of the World features an eclectic collection of styles and items, from Gina Quaranto’s Gothic-tinged Christmas ornaments and Sean Jones’ humorous comic panels to artisan handbags by Sol Sisters and hand-painted silk scarves by Brent Haug.

For more information, contact Roz at 702-523-5306 or visit the City of the World website at

Changing of the guard for Contemporary Arts Collective

December 17th, 2007

Beate KirmseOne of Las Vegas’ oldest arts organizations has a fresh, new face–in the form of new Contemporary Arts Collective gallery director Beate Kirmse.

The German-born director’s background is in strategic business planning and IT, though she holds a certificate in arts administration from NYU.

Now a downtown Las Vegas resident, Kirmse is responsible for managing operations for the CAC’s gallery, as well as playing a role on the collective’s exhibition committee.

Though she worked as a senior business analyst for BusinessEdge Solutions in New York City, Kirmse was active in the Big Apple’s art scene, donating her time to help both local galleries and a small arts magazine.

The CAC is located on the first floor of the Arts Factory (101 E. Charleston Blvd., Ste. 101) in the heart of the Vegas Arts District. For more information, visit or call 702-382-3886.

Film for Less: CineVegas offers free screenings of previously featured films to Las Vegas audiences

December 10th, 2007

Happy Here and Now

The CineVegas Film Festival turns 10 this year, and to help kick off the celebration, CineVegas is teaming up with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District (that’s LVCCLD to you!) to present its “CineVegas from the Vault” series. These free film screenings will be held art the Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Road) at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month.

“We want to give locals the rare opportunity to see past CineVegas films that may be difficult to find now,” said Mike Plante, associate director of programming for CineVegas. “We look forward to bringing independent film to the Las Vegas valley, not just during the Festival in June but also throughout the year.”

The series kicks off with Happy Here and Now on Jan. 3, which premiered at the 2002 festival. According to a press release, the film — directed by Michael Almereyda (who most famously directed 2000’s modern-day take on Hamlet) — is “set in the very near future,” and “explores the inner reaches of isolated souls searching for connection in a contemporary wilderness.”

Other films to follow in the series include 2005’s Apart from That (Feb. 7), Windy City Heat (Mar. 6) and Mitchellville (Apr. 3), both from the 2004 festival. Windy City Heat—directed by Bobcat Goldthwait—has become a comedy cult classic, earning a Comedia Award in 2004.

For more information on the screenings and the festival, visit

Jew for Jesus?

December 7th, 2007

Just a quickie: Anyone else see the irony in Mayor Oscar Goodman — Sin City’s most prominent Jew — lighting the “official” Las Vegas Christmas tree on Fremont Street?

I guess it’s only me.

Well, if you want to watch, um, an old drunk guy with a red nose to rival Rudolph’s flip the switch on the lights for a 50-foot tree, head to the Fremont Street Experience at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Forget First Friday, try First Thursday, Las Vegas

December 5th, 2007

Las Vegas arts scene secret No. 1: First Friday is for amateurs. The best action for true art enthusiasts is typically on the Thursday before the monthly art festival, when a number of galleries hold their invite-only receptions (which are never really invite-only). This is a good time to enjoy the art, converse with artists and consume snackery and libations without having to dodge every spiky-haired emo kid in the valley.

This week, the action’s at the Arts Factory (103 E. Charleston Blvd.) with a double-dose of art-tasticness. First up is the reception for the “minUMENTAL Artist Invitational” at Trifecta Gallery. More than 16 artists — including Eric Joyner, Brian Henry, Casey Weldon, Chad Brown and Marty Walsh — are showing a number of works, all in the 6-by-6-inch range. A number of artists will be on hand to sign their work or answer your insightful questions. The reception runs from 5 – 8 p.m.

Not too far outside Trifecta’s doors, Racket Magazine is presenting an opening party for the debut of DJ 88’s art show, “88 Ways.” Not only will the lovely music-spinner’s paintings be on display, but she’ll also be providing tunes, along with DJ Five. The art of Ruckus One will also be featured during this show.‘s Open Bar will provide free beverages courtesy of King 888 and Ty Ku, so there is no good reason for you not to be at the Arts Factory sometime between 6 and 10 p.m. Unless you don’t like art, free booze or good music.

Assuming you didn’t max out on your art intake Thursday, I have one major First Friday recommendation for you: Dirk Vermin’s “Tattoos & Trash” at MTZC gallery (inside Commerce Street Studios, 1551 S. Commerce St.). This annual treat features the art of Pussykat Tattoo Parlor’s talented tat-gunslingers and their skin art pals. Unlike other art shows, don’t look for wine and cheese here–but surely there will be cheap American beer and Doritos. We think.