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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Free Art in Las Vegas

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know my road trip was full of free art, including street art, building murals, and large sculptures across the city. In the last decade or so, Sin City has become a real mecca of amazing artists from around the world. The annual Life is Beautiful festival is a 3-day event that mashes awesome music, art, and food together, and one day I hope to attend.

In the last decade or so, Sin City has become a real mecca of amazing artists from around the world, and I soaked it all up on my road trip.

The aim of Life is Beautiful is to unite people around artistic experiences, and even though we've never actually gone, we get to soak up the art that sticks around. If you head downtown, you'll find Fremont Street, and the blocks surrounding it packed with murals and sculptures, all of which are more impactful for being surrounded by the desert and city landscape than I feel they would be in a museum, and many are much larger than would even fit into a traditional museum.

I think this is why I love free, public art so much. I don't have to hang out in a museum and I have the chance to see more of a city by walking around. By going downtown, we found some new shops, one of which enabled me to support a 13 year old Black girl who started her own business at the age of 8. I also finally got a try a coffee shop that's been on my list for the last 3 trips. The drinks and food were delicious, and I can see why they are so popular. 

Not all, but a lot of the metal sculptures downtown have been rehomed from Burning Man. My favorite is The Mantis, by Kirk Jellum that greets people at the entrance to the Container Park. It comes alive at nighttime, and if you missed it, here's my short video from a previous trip. Make sure you turn up your sound. 

You may have also saw this piece in my past posts, but this is the first time I've seen it in the daytime. Big Rig Jig was made from two actual semis by Mike Ross and moved to Las Vegas as part of the 2016 Life is Beautiful festival. It's cool in photos, but really impressive in person. 

Pieces have transitioned over the years, so no two visits to Vegas are the same. Here are some of my other favorites. And if you think this must be an exhaustive list, you would be wrong. There are so many pieces everywhere you look, and I truly can't wait to return to explore some more.

Container murals by Snipt

I can't seem to find the artist for this one, but I'll update when I do.

Black Girl Magic by Criola

Next, I'll be talking about OmegaMart and Area15, but until then, remember...

Ricardo Gonzalez from It's A Living

Do you have a favorite city for art, public or otherwise?

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