Posts tagged ‘Atomic Todd’

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).

Showgirls of Yesterday: ‘Peeping Todd’ pays tribute to the visual splendor of burlesque’s history

October 17th, 2007

Peeping Todd

It seems as though burlesque has experienced a resurgence of popularity in the last half-decade or so, albeit in different forms. Modern-day outfits such as the Pussycat Dolls and Suicide Girls have taken progressive twists on the classic art of choreographed strip tease, applying, respectfully, pop and punk music styles. Other parties, such as the multi-city Babes in Sin troupes, produce shows that hem closer to the glamorous origins of the art form.

Here in Las Vegas, all of the above approaches to the rebirth of burlesque have made Sin City into its unofficial home. From mainstream nightclubs featuring their own take on burlesque dancing–such as Forty Deuce and Tangerine–to the retro stylings of groups such as the aforementioned Babes in Sin to the modern moves of groups such as the Vegas Vixens, there is no denying burlesque’s prominence in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Dixie Evans and friendHowever, this past year, the relocation of the Burlesque Hall of Fame to Las Vegas cemented that standing. The organization behind the Burlesque Hall produced the Miss Exotic World convention and contest in Vegas for the last few years, so its nesting here only made perfect sense.

One of the Burlesque Hall’s biggest supporters has been Todd VonBastiaans, an art patron and enthusiast who first made his splash on the local art scene by co-creating, with First Friday organizers Whirlygig, Inc., the Obstacle Art Course, an interactive miniature golf course designed by a number of local artists. He recently opened a curated retail space called Atomic Todd, located at 1541 S. Commerce St., adjacent to the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas.

VonBastiaans featured “In Bed with Liz Renay” at Atomic Todd early this summer, which featured the paintings, books and furnishings of legendary burlesque performer, model and actor Liz Renay, who died in Las Vegas this January.

His love affair with the classic era of burlesque did not end there, however. On Oct. 3, VonBastiaans opened “Peeping Todd: Select Treasures from the Burlesque Hall of Fame,” an exhibit featuring the costumes, posters, headdresses and other paraphernalia of performers from the golden age of burlesque. At the opening reception, performers Kalani Kokonuts and Jami Deadly were on hand to entertain the gallery’s guests, as well as retired burlesque legend Dixie Evans, looking as radiant as ever.

According to Atomic Todd’s website, many of the costumes on display have not been shown publicly for years, and quite possibly not since these classic performers originally wore them.

“Peeping Todd” shows throughout the month of October at Atomic Todd. For more information, call 702-386-8633 or visit