Here And There, This And That –

There’s so much going on, I just had to share some of it with you.

Las Vegas Weekly’s “Interview Issue”

Several of the key players in the revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas have their say – and it’s not all pretty.

Cindy Funkhouser discusses First Friday

James Woodbridge on the music scene

Fremont Street Experience Draws Massive Crowds

Seriously, if you haven’t checked out the whole “Summer of ‘69:Vegas or Bust” extravaganza at the Fremont Street Experience, you’re really missing quite an event. I’ve mentioned it many times, but they really deserve to be applauded. They’ve managed to pull tons of tourist business to downtown. I talked the other night to a dozen different people who had been to Las Vegas many times, and had never ventured downtown. Almost all of them prefered it to the strip once they got a chance to “experience” it.

Firefly expands to Downtown Las Vegas 

Firefly is one of the trendiest of restaurants on Paradise. Now they’re opening another under the dome of the Union Plaza. What was once the “center stage” was used as a location in “Casino”. Fremont street just keeps getting better.

The Arts Scene

The Art Scene is also making lots of news, and it’s not just in the Arts District. Vintage Vegas has lots of gallery space, and lots of artist that are under-appreciated.

Winchester Cultural Center:

Drift depicts spatial moments in time — and the states in which they leave us
by ERIKA POPE in CityLife
AN astonishingly quiet art exhibition is currently on view at the Winchester Cultural Center’s gallery space. Called Drift, the show features the work of Leah Craig and Janet Greek. Both artists are UNLV alumnae, and Craig is on her way to pursuing an MFA at Tufts University in Boston this fall. In vastly different ways, both artists appear to give visual representation to certain transitory moments in time — moments so interstitial or so peripheral to what we perceive to be relevant that the very reality of one’s existence can be called into question.

The Hispanic Museum Of Nevada

Curator Brian Paco Alvarez of the Hispanic Museum of Nevada spotlights artists who ‘mix it up’. An excellent review and article in the RJ

UNLV’s Donna Beam Gallery

CityLife reviews Mary Warner’s “Details”

Mary Warner is a bona-fide grande dame of the Las Vegas arts community. Low-profile but steadfast. A brief list of her contributions proves vibrant and varied. As a founding member of the Contemporary Art Center, she helped expand the scope of art seen and made in the Valley. For almost 20 years, her presence in the art department at UNLV has shaped countless artists’ careers. Her lengthy resume of exhibitions and residencies has helped to extend this art community far beyond the southwestern United States (most recently to Bemis Art Center); her zealous intellect, curiosity and uncompromising critique bring the international art dialogue back home. But a visit to Angels & Insects at UNLV’s Donna Beam Gallery is an ardent reminder that first and foremost, Warner is a painter.

For some time now, Warner has maintained an unwavering attention to floral studies, and Angels sees this focus continued. Some paintings are directly representational, others abstracted and decorative. Simple, right? Far from it.

Architecture:

That leaves us with the other little piece of the art world that has such an influence on Vintage Las Vegas.

Alan Hess

We’re pleased to announce that Alan Hess, the noted architectural historian has agreed to be part of the panel discussion and bus tour of the Zick and Sharp portfolio of Mid Century Modern architecture on October 3rd. VeryVintageVegas is sponsoring the panel and tour along with Classic Las Vegas. We’ll be announcing the date and place shortly.

He’s currently doing a speaking tour about the mid century modern “ranch house”. The next one is July 9th in Palo Alto California. Here’s a little excerpt from the promo for his 2005 book, “Ranch House”.

The trend is unmistakable. The Ranch-style house-a phenomenal success in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s-is making a comeback. Like the enthusiastic embrace of Modern-style houses in the past decade, the Ranch house today is being snatched up and restored all across suburban America, while longtime owners are rediscovering what seduced them in the first place. Now Alan Hess, one of the country’s leading authorities on the 20th-century American home, offers the definitive look at the Ranch house as he guides readers on a tour of more than 30 iconic examples, all photographed especially for this book.

With L- or U-shaped floor plans and sliding glass doors that provide direct access to the patio from the living area, the Ranch house is ideal for an indoor/ outdoor lifestyle and great for families, qualities that made it so appealing in its early days. Now, as this book illustrates, with baby boomers reclaiming the design aesthetic of their youth and a younger generation welcoming the warm and casual spirit of the Ranch, it’s no surprise that this most populist of house styles is popular once again.

Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi:

Kristen Petersen writes in the Sun about a trip back to Las Vegas by noted Architects Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi. Their famous case study book called “Learning from Las Vegas” created a firestorm of debate about architecture in America.

 

Architects Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi tour the Neon Boneyard, followed by a small crowd, some shaded by umbrellas. Cameras roll.

The Boneyard visit and a subsequent architectural bus tour are for a documentary on the architects whose famous 1968 study of Las Vegas launched an influential way of architectural thinking by observing what the people want, rather than what the architect dictates.

The project, begun five years ago by their son, Jim Venturi, delves into their working relationship, transformative years, observations, influences, ideas and projects, and has taken them around the world.

The Las Vegas stop is key. “Learning from Las Vegas,” a book of their study of the city as a prototype for 20th century American suburbia, became a formula for how they approached, and still approach, architecture.

Jim Venturi calls it a bedrock of his parents’ career, “the defining element that they are associated with by their willingness to look at things other people weren’t looking at.”