Posts tagged ‘commerce street studios’

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).

At The Fallout, Jeff Gillette gets horrifyingly funny

October 17th, 2008

Jeff Gillette

We know it’s been a few weeks since October’s First Friday, but while there’s still a month left to check it out, we wanted to tell you about an exhibit worth seeing now on display at The Fallout Gallery (1551 S. Commerce St. in the Commerce Street Studios). Available for viewing through Nov. 14, the various works by Jeff Gillette adorning the walls of The Fallout are split between two approaches.

One wall is dedicated to dozens of Gillette’s framed works featuring images from various sources altered to sometimes-perverse ends, pieces that Gillette casts as nearly throwaway items (selling them for $10 per). The other three walls of the gallery, however, feature a series of paintings juxtaposing images of pleasure and excess – notably Las Vegas casinos and Disneyland – with visions of apocalyptic destruction and shantytowns.

Gillette said he uses photos of real slums from his own travels to India or found images on the internet for his paintings. In his eyes, these hastily-assembled shanties, composed of the discarded remains of signs, buildings, vehicles and other found items, could be coming to U.S. shores soon. Why?

“One word,” Gillette said. “Bailout. If it doesn’t work, then we’re screwed.”

If it seems like a bleak perspective, it helps to know a little more about the artist. In his artist statement, Gillette claims that he prefers the overwhelming “filth, degradation and poverty” of India to the “clean, orderly and happy” atmosphere he experienced when he was finally “dragged, kicking and screaming” to Disneyland at 38 years of age. But that disconcerting paradigm is something of which Gillette is fully aware.

“It is absurd. It is irreverent. It is horrifying,” he said of his art. “It is funny.”

Check out an exclusive gallery of photos from the sixth anniversary of First Friday by C. Moon Reed.

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.

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…)

Timothy Anderson’s art finds shelter in The Fallout

April 8th, 2008

Timothy Anderson art
Art by Timothy Anderson, debuting at The Fallout this Friday.

If you didn’t get enough art at last week’s First Friday event downtown – and maybe you did, but you just don’t remember through your wine-induced haze – then you may want to swing by The Fallout (1551 S. Commerce St.) this Friday, April 11. New works in graphite and ink on paper by Timothy Anderson are being unveiled at the opening reception for this exhibit from 6 to 9 p.m. Anderson’s surreal drawings will be on display at The Fallout through May 16.

Of course, maybe looking at art isn’t your style. Maybe you need some pointy-haired, emo-tastic rock ‘n’ roll. If that’s the case, then $10 gets you Verbatym, Love It Or Leave It, Away We Go!, Hitting On Hannah and This Romantic Tragedy at Jillian’s Las Vegas (450 Fremont St.) that night at 6 p.m. as well.

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.

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.

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.