Las Vegas' Rising Art Scene
Look passed the neon lights in Las Vegas and you’ll find a rich, vibrant art scene that is on the rise.
Many visitors and locals don’t know about hidden works of art scattered throughout the city from stunning Picasso paintings and larger-than-life contemporary sculptures by the likes of Maya Lin to perspective-changing works by light and space artist James Turrell. On April 4, artist Marco Cochrane debuted Bliss Dance – the newest and perhaps most striking installation on the Las Vegas Strip – with the opening of The Park, an outdoor entertainment and dining district between Monte Carlo and New York-New York.
With much of Las Vegas’ art on display in public spaces, the 42 million visitors who visit each year rarely even need to purchase a ticket to enjoy the growing cultural side of the city.
- New: Bliss Dance – Marco Cochrane’s Bliss Dance, a breathtaking 40-foot-tall sculpture of a dancing woman, was revealed last week in The Park on the Las Vegas Strip. The sculpture was created for Burning Man in 2010 and now has a permanent home in the Nevada desert. Bliss Dance is Cochrane’s powerful statement about female strength and self-confidence. Weighing more than 7,500 pounds, the dancer’s form achieves lightness and momentum through ingenious structural engineering that conveys a body in motion. Glimmering beneath the sun by day, and illuminated by 3,000 colored LED lights by night, Bliss Dance is a visual spectacle that portrays the uninhibited expression of its subject.
- Classic: ARIA Campus Fine Art Collection – ARIA features Las Vegas’ first major permanent collection of art to be integrated into a public space. With works by acclaimed artists, sculptors and visionaries including Maya Lin, James Turrell, Nancy Rubins, Frank Stella, Henry Moore and Richard Long, among others, it is one of the largest and most ambitious collections in existence today. Several pieces are prominently placed throughout walkways, lobbies and multiple hotels, engaging guests on a daily basis:
- Big Edge – An artisan famous for her grandiose works created from salvaged goods, Nancy Rubins created a spectacular installation outside Vdara Hotel and Spa. Measuring approximately 57 feet by 75 feet, “Big Edge” is a colorful composition of aluminum rowboats, canoes and other water vessels finessed into a gravity-defying form that Rubins calls “a blooming flower.” The art piece adds an adventurous and colorful touch to the hotel.
- Akhob – Artist James Turrell creates an immersive art experience at the Louis Vuitton boutique inside The Shops at Crystals. Rooms within the store display 900 color-changing LED lights that create visual disarray. Shoppers are surrounded with florescent colors as their ability to comprehend depth is hindered. Without a sense of edges, walls or ceilings this installment provides a mystifying sense of infinity.
- Silver River – Considered one of the most important artists of the 21st century, Maya Lin’s remarkable first work in Las Vegas is perched high above ARIA’s reception desk as a centerpiece to the main lobby. “Silver River,” a 3,700 pound, 84-foot cast of the Colorado River is an ode to the beauty, awesome power, and resourcefulness of water.
- Classic: Picasso Restaurant – When dining at Bellagio’s two Michelin-starred restaurant you will not only find striking artwork surrounding you but also on the elaborate dishes being served. The restaurant’s walls are graced with several of Pablo Picasso’s original pieces that can only be seen inside the venue, such as “Pierrot” and “Woman with Beret.” Guest feel at one with the art as they dine in this creative room and enjoy Julian Serrano’s incredible cuisine on hand-painted china.