Ask anyone to come up with a list of things to do in Vegas. Most people can, whether they’ve been here or not. But ask those who really know the city. They’ll tell you about the museums in Las Vegas. And, the burgeoning local art scene. It’s a hidden treasure. It’s vibrant and eclectic, ranging from street art to galleries of international art that rival some of the world’s greats.
We’ve put together the following list of some of the area’s most notable visual features, with a variety of Las Vegas art and exhibits. So, the next time you’re in town, take a slight detour from the usual. Check out Las Vegas’ Arts District for First Friday, a one-of-a-kind Las Vegas art museum, or other artistic works that help to make a great city, even greater.
7 Magic Mountains
Just about 10 miles south of Vegas lies one of the world’s most unique works of geo-art, known as 7 Magic Mountains. The collection of seven brightly painted, stacked boulder spires boldly proclaims man’s presence in the desertscape. The combination of natural and man-made and man-painted structures was created by renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, and was opened to the public in May 2016.
Downtown Vegas murals
At the impetus of the Life Is Beautiful festival, and with the help of JustKids’ network of artists, designers and consultants, downtown Las Vegas itself has been transformed, with massive public murals brightening and adding intrigue to the landscape. Renowned street artists like Fafi and Shepard Fairey, Norwegian artist Martin Whatson, and others have created stunning artworks that have helped to bring culture to the city and “have left an indelible mark” on it. The murals vary in style and subject, but each is a work of true urban art and well worth a visit. You’ll also find The Art Factory downtown, a hub for all things creative and cool in the city. Make a whole day of exploring murals and art by making your way to First Friday, Las Vegas artists share everything from jewelry to portraits at this event.
The Art Collection at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
If you’ve never visited The Cosmopolitan, you’ve missed out on not only a luxurious property, but also an impressive art gallery. Las Vegas visitors can find hundreds of works throughout the resort, from an array of international artists, including large-scale paintings, photography, mixed media, sculptures, murals and more. Be sure to visit the Golden Age of Glam exhibit, featuring photos from the archives of the Las Vegas News Bureau. The News Bureau, a division of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, has been capturing the sights and sounds of Las Vegas since 1947.
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
If you know anything at all about Vegas, you probably know a thing or two about the Bellagio. “Art gallery” may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But after your next visit, it will be. Famous for its awe-inspiring fountains that have provided a highlight along the Strip to millions of visitors for years and years, the Bellagio, not surprisingly, also is home to a premier art exhibition space “where art goes on vacation.” In partnership with museums and foundations from around the world, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (BGFA) presents an ever-changing lineup of intimate exhibitions with works from some of the world’s most renowned artists. Past exhibits have included the works of Picasso, Fabergé, Warhol and countless others. And with the beauty of the hotel in which it resides, the BGFA is like a gallery within a gallery.
The Art at the Wynn
Renowned resort founder and art collector Steve Wynn has always believed that art should be a shared experience. And that belief is evident throughout the stunning Wynn Hotel. Featuring an incredible and discriminating selection of Western and Asian artworks, the Wynn is like a giant, hotel-sized, world-class gallery. With a wide variety of styles (and centuries), from 18th century vases to Jeff Koons’ stunning glass tulips, the collection has been thoughtfully dispersed throughout the Wynn’s public spaces with the specific intent of fulfilling Steve’s vision of art as a shared experience. The art at the Wynn was chosen to “reflect the personality and purpose of the resort itself: unique, exquisitely crafted and meant to be enjoyed.”
Of course, these are just a small sampling of the art and artists who can be found around this one-of-a-kind city. From the classic neon signs to modern murals and unique collections, you can find art of one form or another at virtually every turn around here. A little culture provides the perfect accent to the country’s entertainment capital.