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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Seeking Out Art in Las Vegas

Usually, when you want to see artwork in a city, you head to the nearest museum. Las Vegas is definitely not an ordinary travel destination and that goes for their art, too. Though you can visit their museums, you don't have to if you're hoping to look at some fantastic artwork of all kinds. The city has a special relationship with local artists and showcase them everywhere they can. It's great, because they bring the art to you instead of the other way around. Everywhere you look, you'll find a mural, sculpture, painting or something equally cool. 

You can head to the casinos on the Strip to see traditional artwork, like they have at the Cosmopolitan, Caesar's Italian sculptures, or pay money to see famous art from masters like Monet and Dali at Bellagio Art Museum. Of course you can just wander around outside as well. 

street art on the Linq Promenade

the amazing ceiling inside The Venetian

From the Linq Promenade to the new Park at Las Vegas in between New York New York and the Monte Carlo, there's street art and more to view absolutely free. Each night you can watch artists bring their art to life while they interact with visitors. Feel free to go up and ask them about their piece or themselves while they are creating fabulous works right in front of your eyes.

One of my favorite ways to see art is downtown. The streets are lined with vintage Vegas casino signs that have been revamped and made like new so you can enjoy them again. See even more if you book a tour of the Neon Museum, where old Vegas signs go to retire. Many have been repaired, but many still have been left in their broken down state, waiting for their turn. You'll learn the history behind almost all of them.

artwork and water wall at The Park LV

more art panels at The Park LV

If you've never been downtown on a trip to Vegas, it's really coming into its own and becoming a the place to be. From Fremont Street to the Container Park, there's literally something for everyone. I recommend hitting up the Mob Museum when you're there, because it's awesome and definitely the best and most productive way to beat the heat.
love locks installation outside the Container Park

You'll find a ton of great art in and around the container park and up and down Fremont Street and the surrounding areas. Look down while you're walking around, because you're likely to see gold plaques that give you a little history of what happened on that spot in the early days of Vegas.

And don't forget to look up, because you'll see some fantastic art on buildings everywhere. I love the colorful koi, but I also was enamored with this artwork that took up two sides of an otherwise boring building. Do these people sleep in the desert or is their bed a wild place? Also, what are the umbrellas for? To keep the sun out or to replicate a ceiling of some sort? So much to think about. I love it.

Even when you're not strictly in town, make sure you keep your eyes open. On the highway behind the Strip is full of wonderful art, like these metal bighorn sheep (?), as well as metal horses. There are desert animals painted on overpasses and critters peeking over walls. 

Even if you've been to Vegas, you have never seen it all. The city is always changing and evolving to keep up with what visitors want and to keep frequent guests and locals from getting bored. Unfortunately, some of your favorites may disappear, but then you'll find a new favorite fairly quickly. If you want to see more pics of my trips to Vegas, including food and fun activities, follow me on Instagram.

What's your favorite way to sneak in some culture on your Las Vegas trip?

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