Embracing “the Arts” can mean a lot of things, especially in a city with Liberace and M&M’s collector museums. But Las Vegas has a very strong undercurrent of art and culture flowing through its core, bubbling up in world-class performing arts venues, conservatories, history museums and fine-art galleries scattered across the Vegas Valley. Check out these artsy gathering spots for a deep-dive in the classy side of America’s favorite party town.
The Arts Factory
Thriving in the heart of the 18b Las Vegas Arts District downtown, The Arts Factory overflows with antiques, small galleries and artist studios housed in a decades-old warehouse on East Charleston Boulevard. Drop in for a constant parade of poetry readings, live concerts, plays and gallery exhibitions, but always mark your calendar for their monthly First Friday events. The party spills into the streets with dancing, food stalls and live paint parties, while passionate art lovers roam the collection of new paintings and photography for sale inside.
Smith Center for the Performing Arts
Joining other serious arts venues at Symphony Park, “the Smith” struts its stuff in true performance fashion, putting on the best of Broadway shows, international jazz scatters and everything in-between. You’ll easily find your way there by scanning the horizon for the massive Art Deco building with its 17-story four-octave carillon tower harboring 47 cast bronze carillon bells. It’s also the roosting place for the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Ballet Theatre – enough said.
Marjorie Barrick Museum
Native cultures take center stage at the Marjorie Barrick Museum on the University of Nevada campus, with an extensive collection of artifacts representing the cultures of Pre-Columbian Latin America. Eclectic is the only suitable word for some of the museum’s accumulated treasures, such as the fantastically colorful Guatemalan costumes and Mexican masks. Another 2500 square feet of temporary exhibit space displays international and regional collections, so you never know what might crop up from one month to the next.
Chihuly at Bellagio
Original Picasso paintings at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art are nothing to scoff at, but contemporary art aficionados are similarly impressed with what hangs over their heads in the Bellagio lobby. In a tribute to the hotel’s famous conservatory and botanical gardens, glass artist Dale Chihuly constructed Fiori di Como, a hanging garden of 2000 handblown glass flowers weighing a collective 40,000 pounds. There’s no entrance fees and no pretensions – just hang back your head and gaze at the ceiling as you enter the main lobby. If you’re feeling hungry (or just brave), slip into the Picasso restaurant for a peek at original Picasso ceramics.
Living the good life in Las Vegas has a lot of nuances, including multifaceted places to live. Stop by one of Pinnacle’s Las Vegas or Henderson apartment communities today for a short tour and to hear our monthly specials.