Posts tagged ‘arts factory’

Neon Outlook: November’s First Friday and more art beyond

November 4th, 2008
Just one of the haunting works by Justin Crabtree and David Ward at Main Gallery

Just one of the haunting works by Justin Crabtree and David Ward at Main Gallery

Amongst all the Election Day nonsense (oh, and topless shows, dance-punk concerts and Tiki bars), we almost forgot First Friday was coming up this week. I know, I know, “how could we?” Well, it’s not like the future of our country (and the free world?) is hanging in the balance today or anything, right?

With that in mind, assuming the world hasn’t shat itself by then, here’s a look forward to November’s worthy art openings in Las Vegas not only before and during First Friday, but maybe a little after, as well:

First up is the return of Brian and Jennifer Henry’s creation Lola in her newest show, “Lola vs. The Universe,” at Trifecta Gallery (inside the Arts Factory, 103 E. Charleston Blvd.). Opening with a preview reception on Thursday, Nov. 6 from 5 to 8 p.m., this new series catches up with the exploits of Lola, an “avid activist,” “steam train conductor” and Presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, at Main Gallery (1009 S. Main St.), Justin Crabtree and David Ward team up for “Method and Theory,” which opens Friday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. This installation juxtaposes the approaches, disciplines and styles of artist Crabtree and biologist Ward. You really need to see it to believe it.

Around the corner at MTZC (on the second floor of Commerce Street Studios, 1551 S. Commerce St.), we bid a sad farewell to the 4-year-old gallery with “20/20 Hindsight,” the final show featuring the art of owner Mark T. Zeilman. Do not miss the opening reception on Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. for this closing show.

If you survive all that First Friday noise, then by the next week you’ll be ready for the opening of “Love and Water” by San Francisco-based Alexis Amann at Atomic Todd (1221 Main St.), showing Nov. 14 through Dec. 31. The exhibition, curated by Naomi Arin, features Amann’s acrylic gouache paintings, which explore the dual themes of love and water. The opening reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14.

Other shows to keep on your calendar that we’ll revisit later: Tarissa Tiberti at The Fallout (1551 S. Commerce St.) from Nov. 21 to Jan. 3, 2009, and “Israeli Art NOW,” showing Nov. 26 through Jan. 4, 2009 at Naomi Arin Contemporary (formerly DUST, 900 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Suite 120-B).

Picks for First Friday Las Vegas’ sixth anniversary

September 30th, 2008

Just one of many “Charming Patterns” on display at Trifecta Gallery.

Is it First Friday already? Well, it will be in two days. And furthermore, it’s October, which means it’s anniversary month for the monthly art walk and street fair — yes, it has been six years since Cindy Funkhouser and Julie Brewer (rest her soul) first brewed up Las Vegas’ longest-running cultural event. So get downtown on Friday and enjoy the nearly-cool autumn evening with a few thousand of your closest friends. Here’s our picks for must-dos the next few days:

Over at Trifecta Gallery, owner Marty Walsh unleashes her own visual works upon the walls of her Arts Factory space with the opening of “Charming Patterns” on Thursday, Oct. 2 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Fallout Gallery also hosts a pre-First Friday opening on Oct. 2 with a reception for Jeff Gillette, whose new works grace the Commerce Street Studios mainstay this month.

Upstairs from the Fallout, MTZC proudly presents “To Hell With You and All Your Friends,” featuring the work of Cleveland, Ohio-based artist Derek Hess. The opening reception is Friday, Oct. 3 from 6 to 10 p.m. — yes, on First Friday.

And over at Henri & Odette, gallerist Jennifer Harrington offers up the sounds of acoustic guitarist Rustyn Vaughn Lee from 8 to 10 p.m. on Friday, which will surely be welcoming background music for enjoying the art of Amy Guidry.

Don’t forget, as well — the sixth annual First Friday Fundraiser is coming up Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. This year, it’s being held atop Newport Lofts downtown on the Skydeck. Enjoy cocktails, food, entertainment, schmoozing and a silent auction to benefit Whirlygig, Inc. — the non-profit arts organization behind First Friday. Tickets are only $60 in advance (or $75 at the door) — and the view of the city alone is worth the price, we think. See you downtown.

Neon Outlook: Vegas week in preview, post-Labor Day

September 3rd, 2008

Whew kids. Is Labor Day Weekend over? Given I am back in front of my computer and not doing it up at Seattle’s Bumbershoot music and arts festival, I guess it is. But just because the big holiday weekend is over doesn’t mean that the week forthcoming is anything to sneeze at. Evidence:

Trifecta Gallery (inside the Arts Factory, 103 E. Charleston Blvd.) is hosting a preview opening for its newest exhibition, “Escape Hatch,” by Boulder City denizen Biscuit Street Preacher, on Thursday, Sept. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. We love his work. You should too.

If independent films are more your style, perhaps you’ll want to check out a free screening of Breakfast with Hunter, a documentary about the late Hunter S. Thompson, showing at Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Road) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4.

Friday, Sept. 5, is First Friday, of course, and while you’re downtown in the Arts District pretending to check out art, maybe you should wander over to the Commerce Street Studios for the opening of “Spiritual Geometry (the Awakening)” at MTZC (1551 S. Commerce St.) at 6 p.m. This show features collaborative and solo works of Teresa M. Williams and gallery owner Mark T. Zeilman.

On Saturday, Sept. 6, Brooklyn-based dance crew The Dynasty Rockers brings its funky, “uprock” style to the Aruba Hotel and Spa (1215 Las Vegas Blvd. S.) for a stop on its 35th anniversary tour. Things kick off with a barbeque by the pool at noon, the main event from 4 to 9 p.m. in the hotel’s Thunderbird Lounge, and then an Afro-Latino electric soul after-party from our homies in the Kilowatt crew starting at 11 p.m.

‘Beneath the Neon’ lures visitors into hidden world beneath Las Vegas

June 30th, 2008

Based on a series of articles that originally ran in Las Vegas CityLife, Matthew O’Brien‘s 2007 book Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas (Huntington Press) chronicles the hidden world of those living in the flood channels beneath Sin City. Local artist and cultural purveyor Brian “Paco” Alvarez has recreated the world captured by O’Brien with the installation of “Beneath the Neon: The Exhibition” at the Contemporary Arts Collective gallery inside the Arts Factory (101 E. Charleston Blvd.).

Beneath the NeonThe exhibit is designed to recreate the aesthetics and environment of the storm drains, surrounding visitors with claustrophobic realism via graffiti, garbage, water, gravel and other discarded items composing the makeshift living spaces O’Brien discovered below the Entertainment Capital of the World. Left with only a narrow path between all the desolation around them, patrons are left feeling somewhat jarred and discomforted.

The exhibit also includes a side gallery curated by Alvarez featuring artifacts and photos from the tunnel explorations, as well as a video capturing some of O’Brien’s adventures. “Beneath the Neon: The Exhibition” runs through July 24. If you missed the preview reception on June 26, a pre-First Friday reception will be held Thursday, July 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. as well as a panel discussion and book signing on Thursday, July 17 at the same time.

What’s another month without First Friday in Las Vegas?

May 1st, 2008

First Friday vegas art

It’s a month not worth living, that’s what. So you’d better hope your little $2 contribution at the Casino Center gate keeps this thing alive. I say, screw that, slip those volunteers a 10-spot and ixnay the extra Guinness at the Griffin later that night.

So what’s on tap for First Friday in May? How about checking out what the students, teachers and alums of the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts are turning out these days, art-wise? You can do just that at MTZC (1551 S. Commerce St.) as the renegade contemporary arts gallery presents “Generation Gap,” showing throughout the month of May but debuting during First Friday, of course.

Or maybe your style is more robots and rocket pods? If so, check out Sam Davis’ latest work in “For the Love of Pod,” showing at Trifecta Gallery (inside the Arts Factory, 103 E. Charleston Blvd.). His work is about the void between here and there, back and forth strangeness. He makes us believe in the make-believe keeping us playfully aware. But more importantly, his robots are really cool. Robots, people, art featuring robots! You can never go wrong. (more…)

Come for the art, stay for the wine

March 28th, 2008

JW Caldwell

Hey, remember we told you about the opening of Chris Waters’ “Waiting” at the Jennifer Marie Gallery next Thursday, April 3? Well, as long as you’re going to be at the under-renovation Arts Factory (101 E. Charleston Blvd.), you may as well swing by Trifecta Gallery as well, where the opening reception of JW Caldwell’s new show will be held from 5 to 8 p.m.

Entitled “Dismounting Your High Horse With Style and Grace,” this series of paintings are about fear and failure, resulting in hope and strength. It’s the merger of pop and populist with a frontier twist. If you don’t come for the art, well, at least you can taste the featured wine of the month from Tinocos Bistro.

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

Photographers get a ‘Kiss’ at Jennifer Marie Gallery

February 26th, 2008

Nicole Yoder photography
“Trainyard,” by Nicole Yoder

Since opening the Jennifer Marie Gallery inside the Arts Factory (101 E. Charleston Blvd.) last fall, Jennifer Harrington has followed her passion, providing a home for fresh art and upcoming artists. Her gallery was featured in Racket magazine’s art issue in December and has been warmly received by the local art scene. But up until now, the gallery has featured mostly paintings, sculpture and mixed media, but not much by way of photography.

That’s about to change, with the opening of “Kiss” on Thursday March 6. This group show will feature the work of a diverse range of Las Vegas-based photographers, including some unsung heroes and UNLV students and graduates.

“I’m doing a mix of fine artists and some young photographers,” Harrington says. “I really want a show that says something about Las Vegas and the people who live and work here.”

Nightlife photographer Melissa Reese, VURB magazine art director Christopher Smith, UNLV MFA graduate Sam Davis and photographer Nicole Yoder, whose work was featured at the gallery previously in the “Pretty Little Things” exhibit, are among the artists featured in “Kiss.” Harrington said she specifically wanted to feature fine artists alongside working photographers, who typically only get a chance to shoot on assignment. The “Kiss” theme was created just to encourage creativity.

“I called this show ‘Kiss’ so that everyone could have a bit of fun, and make a pretty show to look at,” Harrington says.

The March 6 reception starts at 6 p.m. and the show runs throughout the month. For more information on the exhibit or the gallery, visit the Jennifer Marie Gallery website or call 702-686-3164.

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.

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.