March, 2008

This Saturday, the party’s at Commerce Street Studios

March 20th, 2008

Enigmatic Flow
Teresa M. Williams’ “Enigmatic Flow”

Usually, the Arts Factory (101 E. Charleston Blvd.) gets all the attention when it comes to exhibit openings, especially on that magical Thursday before First Friday each month. That’s when it seems every gallery inside the Arts District’s hub building holds a reception for its forthcoming show. So it’s little wonder that Commerce Street Studios (1551 S. Commerce St.) does something a little different: A night of closing receptions, two weeks removed from the hustle of First Friday week.

This Saturday, March 22, MTZC holds a closing reception for Teresa M. Williams’ exhibit of drawings, “Enigmatic Flow,” from 6 to 9 p.m. Meanwhile, at the same time downstairs at The Fallout, Rick Dominguez and Cindy Funkhouser celebrate not only the one-year anniversary of their gallery, but also their marriage, which took place in that very space one year ago! While there, check out “Play This” before it packs up for the month.

But that’s not all! A few feet north, Circadian Studios celebrates the first show by Stephanie Ford and Amber Varde, appropriately titled “Poppin’ Our Cherries!” Can you handle this much art all at once? Or that much free wine and beer? We know you can. See you there.

Contemporary Arts Collective unveils 19th annual juried show

March 20th, 2008

Ayako Ono
Artwork from the show, by Ayako Ono.

One of Las Vegas’ oldest non-profit art organizations, the Contemporary Arts Collective, is holding its 19th annual juried show, on display now through April 26. Exhibiting artists this year represent a diversity of established and upcoming talent, including Marty Walsh, Jorge Catoni, Justin Favela, Mary Beth Heishman, Brent Sommerhauser and many others.
“We had a huge response from artists interested in participating in our juried show,” said CAC Executive Director Beate Kirmse. “It was a tough decision, but ultimately we feel the artists chosen represent the wide variety of talent in Las Vegas.”

A reception for the show, at which prizes will be awarded, will be held on Thursday, April 3. The work in the show – which includes paintings, mixed media, photography and video – was juried by Majorie Vecchio, director of UNLV’s Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery.
The CAC gallery is located on the first floor of the Arts Factory at 101 E. Charleston Blvd. For more information, call 702-382-3886 or visit

Despite young age, Vic & Anthony’s recalls vintage Vegas

March 19th, 2008

Vic & anthony’s

It seems most Las Vegas residents and regulars fall into two mutually exclusive categories when it comes to their appreciation of the city: Those who think the “real” Vegas died when the Rat Pack and the Mob left town, and those who gleefully watch old casinos implode while they eagerly await the opening of the next hi-rise condo, ultra lounge or high-end retail store.

I guess I stand among a small number of people whose appreciation for all things Vegas falls somewhere in between those two perspectives. When dying, smoky casinos such as the New Frontier go down, I welcome their end (someone please implode Circus Circus … soon), but when the Huntridge Theatre is being threatened, I take the side of preservation. I welcome — hell, eagerly encourage — New Urban development, but I feel it should be done by renovating older buildings (specifically, downtown) and not by just razing them and starting over. I find the “vintage” Vegas era especially charming, but I also can appreciate the allure of ultramodern surroundings, music and fashions.

However, most of my life is spent living in and pursuing the “new,” modern version of Las Vegas. So it was refreshing to head to Glitter Gulch (the area, not the strip club) for a little old-school night on the town at a classic-style Vegas joint, the Golden Nugget. Though the Nugget has been renovated and upgraded in the last few years thanks to a few changes of ownership, it retains that vintage Vegas charm, while offering enough fresh amenities to draw in a younger, hipper crowd. But this weekend, I went old school and had dinner at the property’s steak-and-seafood eatery, Vic & Anthony’s. (more…)

Back to the Art House with ‘The Witnesses,’ ‘A Walk Into The Sea’

March 18th, 2008

A Walk Into the Sea
Stills from “A Walk Into The Sea,” courtesy of The Danny Williams Estate and The Andy Warhol Museum.

Need another excuse to hang out in downtown Las Vegas? Of course you don’t. But in between your drinking and gambling, how about you swing by Galaxy Neonopolis to check out some exclusive screenings of acclaimed films in CineVegas’ Art House Screening Series?

April brings two new showings to the only other business aside from Jillian’s still breathing in that monumental failure that is Neonopolis, starting with The Witnesses, running from April 4 to 10. This official selection from the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival focuses on four friends confronting the end of the sexual revolution in 1984 Paris. Sounds sexy. Sort of.

The other Art House feature is A Walk Into The Sea, screening from April 11 to 17. Director Esther Robinson uses the medium of film to uncover the true story behind the mysterious 1966 disappearance of Danny Williams, Andy Warhol’s lover and Robinson’s uncle. A Walk Into The Sea combines unreleased footage shot by Williams during the heyday of Warhol’s Factory with intimate interviews of surviving Factory regulars. (more…)

Saving the Huntridge is tricky business

March 9th, 2008

Huntridge Theatre
(Photo by Liz Fuentes | Courtesy UNLV Architecture Studies Library)

Though the Huntridge Theatre, architectural centerpiece of the neighborhood southeast of downtown Las Vegas that informally bears its name, has been a part of Las Vegas since 1944, for locals considered amongst Generations X and Y, the historic venue holds a special place as a sort-of cultural touchstone in our shared experiences. It’s remained dormant for four years now, but somewhere in the back of our collective mind, we figured — more like idly hoped — that someone, somehow, would bring back to life the former movie house and live music venue. Now that faint glimmer of hope is quickly fading to black.

As reported multiple times in the Las Vegas Sun, Eli Mizrachi, the owner of the building at the corner of Charleston Boulevard and Maryland Parkway, is attempting to buy his way out of an agreement signed before he bought the property that restricts the iconic structure from being torn down. Mizrachi bears no ill will toward the theatre; it’s just that he needs to find a viable, profitable use for that property, and thus far, no one has come forth with a solution that would keep the decades-old building in its classic state.

Josh Geidel of the grassroots organization Save the Huntridge met Saturday night at the Downtown Cocktail Room to discuss ideas for saving the S. Charles Lee-designed building, which exemplifies the Moderne style popularized in the 1930s and ’40s. Mizrachi attended the meeting, reiterating his position that he’d like to see the theatre saved but must look out for his business interests as well. Until recently, Mizrachi’s family also ran a branch of their Cima Furniture chain on that corner, adjacent to the Huntridge. (more…)