enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

In Celebration of Nowhere: Area 51 Turns 50

The desert epicenter where the military industrial complex meets alien menace turns 50 this month. Dreamland Resort is celebrating that milestone with an Area 51 - 50-th Anniversary campout celebration.

All are invited, "We cordially invite security personnel and other guests from the Groom Lake Base. Please join us in celebrating half a century of military aviation history."

Yeah, like that's going to happen.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Queens of the Stone Age + A Hotel Room = Secret Wall Tattoos

When you are a big-time rock and roll god, fame can make you do strange things. You get to a hotel, throw TVs out the window, do loads of drugs and have sex with every groupie within arm's reach. But what do you do after all that? Frontman for the Queens of the Stone Age Josh Homme draws on walls. He and his tattoo buddies remove the art from the walls of various hotel rooms, tattoo them and replace the art. Otherwise known as Secret Wall Tattoos.

When Queens of the Stone Age play with the Eagles of Death Metal at the House of Blues Las Vegas, their hotel room may have more art after their stay.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Underground Las Vegas: Good Things at Week's End

If ever there was a city that deserved a guide to get tourists past a cliched and two-dimensional bill-of-goods that is sold to them, it's Vegas. While working at the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, I remember being assailed by a crunchy bohemian type about the crass commercialism, the soullessness, and thorough lack of culture in Vegas. Mind you, this was in the Rem Koolhaas-designed museum during the exhibition "Art Through The Ages: Masterpieces of Painting from Titian to Picasso." While not entirely indicative of the city on the whole, this little art lover's paradise was in Vegas, and she indeed had paid the pricey admission to see these fine works of art. So, her argument rang slightly hollow. Had she had The Underground Guide to Las Vegas she may have not complained at all. But I think she lived to complain. Anyways...

This much-needed addition to Vegas travel books answers such questions as:

What mass-transit option is 40-feet off the ground, has junk-bond status, and occasionally loses a wheel? (Page 18)

My girlfriend says when I wear a dress and shave I look like Liza Minelli. Is there a yearly convention I could attend and be surrounded by people who will love me as I am? (Page 59)

When the girl at the Asian Massage parlor takes her "clenched fist" and raises it up and down, what is she trying to tell me?" (page 177)

Where can I sell my plasma? (Page 191)

Seth Flynn Barklan, Gregory Crosby, Scott Dickensheets, Joshua Ellis, Izzy Fizler, Jarret Keene, Princess Anne Mulford, and Jenny Prosser all contributed to this book. Additionally, I got a chance to read the book prior to publication and got to give my 2 cents. So, hit up Dino's, see the literary kid, hear a great band, and buy me a drink.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Silly Little Car Comes to Nevada

If the Mini is too big, and the Yugo too short, how about a Smart Car? These teeny European cars are now being Americanized by ZAP World Cars and being made available in the US. The Americanization includes being fed a steady diet of Big Macs, watching Fox News, and making provocative military statements about the remaining members of the Axis of Evil.

And the first one is coming to Nevada. So if you are driving in our fair state you should be spotting this new car in the grill of some Hummer.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

And People Say God Doesn't Like Vegas

Luke 4

The Temptation of Jesus

1Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."

4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone.

Some times people in the desert steal bread, get caught and need to be bailed out. This is when the angry nun comes in.

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Bleeps, Bloops and Other Electronic Fun At the Aruba

More fun audio exploration from the kids at LVEXPERIMENTAL.ORG. As usual they are hosting this event at the very cool Aruba Hotel & Spa.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

You Didn't Get This (Fine Art) From Me: Boston MFA to Lend More Art to Bellagio

Does it matter if the museum lending the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art great art doesn't want to share its name on the exhibition title? Not really, but it is fun to make a big fuss about it. The Boston Globe's article about the next chapter in the Museum of Fine Arts/Bellagio art story touches upon that big fuss and the continuing criticism about the crass commercialism of the arrangement. The next show, The Impressionist Landscape from Corot to van Gogh, consists of 35 paintings and this Exhibition Checklist (PDF) has all the works' titles, artists and lender info. . .

"Gift of Miss Amelia Peabody
Bequest of William A. Coolidge
Bequest of Mrs. Henry Lee Higginson, Sr., in memory of her husband"

One would have to wonder what the blue-blooded Ms. Peabody, Mr. Coolidge, and Mrs. Henry Lee Higginson, Sr. would have thought of their art hanging in a house of gaming in the middle of the American desert. But chances are all those people are dead, so who cares.

Anyways, this Fred A. Bernstein article, A Loan That Keeps on Paying, seems to find that the criticism leveled at the non-profit/for-profit venture may reflect concerns that small/less prestigious museums could be squeezed out of future exhibitions if they don't have equally great art to lend in return. Many museums simply break-even when lending art and exhibitions to other institutions, and this for-profit model looks like a bad trend in the making.

But really, Vegas is Vegas after all. And the criticism is just another way of saying, "You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think."* Any city that benefited from vice, crime and mob largess doesn't deserve to be anything more than what it once was. Right, Chicago, New York, Boston?

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Vegas Centennial and May's First Friday

May's Vegas Centennial/First Friday events list (courtesy of the First Friday website) is huge. But worth reading, so enjoy. . .

The month of May has become synonymous with gigantic First Friday, and this year the festival has practically outgrown itself. In celebration of the Centennial First Friday is actually stretching into Saturday (10am-5pm). Come down and check out the largest First Friday (and Saturday) yet. There will be 100 artist tents in the streets, live music Friday night and Saturday all day by Killian's Angels, The Nines, Lon Bronson's All Star Band, The Vista Four and more, stilt dancing, fortune tellers and a frolicking Las Vegas-style birthday bash for our fair city!

Enjoy food from Sweet Georgia Brown’s and area restaurants, revel in the music of local bands and tipple to your heart’s delight at the Ice House, Dino’s, Snicks and be sure and check out the new Art Bar on Main Street and Wyoming, and shake hands with owner and Elvis impersonator Jessie Garon. Enjoy the fresh air and beautiful weather while you can–summer’s on its way.

We would like to thank Cherry Development ( www.cherry-development.com ) for sponsoring this Centennial First Friday event. They have been great supporters of First Friday sponsoring three events and our First Friday billboard this year alone!!

Don't forget to pick up your VIP pass to Vegas’ arts scene, the Friends of First Friday membership card, which offers discounts at First Friday-friendly vendors throughout the Las Vegas Valley, including art galleries, bars/restaurants, antique shops, special events, boutiques, salons, yoga and pilates studios, and tattoo parlors. To see the list of participating vendors, visit the FoFF page at www.firstfriday-lasvegas.org . Cards may be purchased the First Friday of every month from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, May 7th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at various locations Downtown or at The Funkhouse, 1228 S. Casino Center Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon-Sat. “Friends” cards cost $10; “Best Friends” cards cost $25 and include an invitation for you and a guest to First Friday pre-parties beginning in May.

A printable map of the Arts District may be found on our website or you may pick up a copy anytime @ The Funk House, 1228 South Casino Center Boulevard. Maps are also available the evenings of FIRST FRIDAY at Commerce Street Studios, 1551 S. Commerce Street, S2Art, One East Charleston, Ice House Lounge, 650 South Main Street and at the Arts Factory, 103 East Charleston. Parking options are plentiful thanks to the City of Las Vegas who have kindly suspended the street meter payment obligations in addition to providing FREE parking at the Clark County Government Center with a FREE trolley to the party from 6 to 10 pm. The City of Las Vegas, in its continuing generosity, has also provided transportation for the entire evening via the City of Las Vegas Arts Bus, which stops at the newest location: Commerce Street Studios, The Funk House, Arts Factory & The Ice House every 20 minutes beginning at 6 pm. Click link http://www.firstfriday-lasvegas.org/schedule.html for additional stops. And, as always during the evenings of FIRST FRIDAY, don't forget to enter our RAFFLE for all kinds of cool stuff including a $50 gift certificate from the Beauty Bar ( www.beautybar.com ) opening in May downtown, an annual pass for two to the GUGGENHEIM HERMITAGE (located in the Venetian), a gift certificate for a free facial at The Globe Salon ( www.globesalon.com ), a $50 gift certificate from Not Just Antiques, a $50 gift certificate to the Las Vegas Premium Outlets www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=58 and FIRST FRIDAY t-shirts. Patrons may enter the raffle at the newest location Commerce Street Studios (1551 S. Commerce www.commercestreetstudios.com ),The Funk House, The Ice House, Arts Factory & S2Art Center; winners will be notified by phone. We would like to thank www.thevegashustler.com for their contribution of volunteers every First Friday!

GENERALLY THE HOURS ARE FROM 6-10PM (invidual hours may vary, see below)


ART @ THE FUNK HOUSE--Dan Sidlow showing new works, oil on canvas hanging May 5-June 1, 2005. Plus, take time to stop by for a reading from a fortune teller and admire Rick and his mad skills on the didgeridoo. Outside we have hand made tiles by sculptor Denise Duarte, live art demonstrations, other performing artists, and who knows what else? Plus up to 50% discount on merchandise for First Friday patrons. www.thefunkhouselasvegas.com

ON THE STREET- Artist Tents, Dino's www.dinoslv.com serving beer and wine--don't miss the afterparty (see below), Sweet Georgia Brown's Barbecue, bands, stilt dancer....................

DRAY'S PLACE- (across the street from The Funk House): Open studio, showing new work by Dray. www.draysplace.com

SPART IV STUDIO- (across the street from The Funk House)-Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. Wood carvings. Open late

WETZEL PHOTO GALLERY- (across the street from The Funk House) Showing new work by Christine Wetzel. Open late.

WORMWOOD STUDIO- (across the street from The Funk House) Open studio


DUST GALLERY (on Main St south of Charleston): May 1 – June 18, 2005 DUST presents large format paintings of fashion industry powerhouses by Alonso Mateo, a Cuban born artist living in Mexico City. Open Wed – Sat noon -5pm Reception First Friday May 6, 2005
6 – 10 pm www.dustgallery.com

Godt-Cleary Projects (on Main St. south of Charleston) is pleased announce our silent auction to benefit the Nevada Cancer Institute and to celebrate FIRST FRIDAY : 100 YEARS / 100 ARTISTS. On Friday, May 6, 6 pm -10 pm and Saturday, May 7, 10 am -5 pm, over 20 exclusive items will be on view for silent bidding at Godt-Cleary Projects, with 100 percent of the proceeds to benefit the Nevada Cancer Institute.
A collection of art, objects and special events will be available for bidding, including :

Artwork by David Ryan, Ryan Spencer, Jeff Koons, VIP passes to exclusive local nightclubs including PURE and TANGERINE, dining experiences citywide including Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill and Chinois, spa packages, and more!

Bidding will begin at 6 pm on Friday evening and close at 3 pm on Saturday May 7. Contact Godt-Cleary Projects for more information: 452 2200 or info@godtcleary.com



COMMERCE STREET STUDIOS- www.commercestreetstudios.com

Archinofsky Gallery-NEW LOCATION (1551 S. Commerce St, 1/2 block north of Wyoming, 1 block west of Main Street) Local photographers and owners of Archinofsky Gallery, Garald Todd and Deborah Arin present, "Feeling Empty." Come see Garald's moody and haunting photographs in contrast with Deborah's works of engineered expanses that explore the varied emotional rollercoaster of living alone. Refreshments will be served. Gallery hours: Saturdays 12:00-5:00PM and by appointment. Open May 7th in honor of Las Vegas Centennial Celebration. For more information call 640-8226

Lorraine Leslie Studio-NEW LOCATION (1551 S. Commerce St, 1/2 block north of Wyoming, 1 block west of Main Street) Open Studio
For more information call 328-6756

Naked City Tattoo-NEW LOCATION (1551 S. Commerce St, 1/2 block north of Wyoming, 1 block west of Main Street) showing new work. World famous artist tatoos FREE all day. For more information call 612-5516

Serena's Photography-NEW LOCATION (1551 S. Commerce St, 1/2 block north of Wyoming, 1 block west of Main Street) "Vision Quest". For more information call 580-7076

Shannon Webb Studio-NEW LOCATION (1551 S. Commerce St, 1/2 block north of Wyoming, 1 block west of Main Street) Opening March 4 First Friday showing new work by Shannon Webb. For more information call 371-4300 www.shannonwebb.com

studio MTZ-NEW LOCATION (1551 S. Commerce St, 1/2 block north of Wyoming, 1 block west of Main Street) In honor of the Centennial Celebration, studio MTZ and Archinofsky gallery invite you over for "Saturday Morning Cartoons." Saturday, May 7th from 10:00 am - until the cereal runs out. Come relax and reminisce while enjoying a good ol’ bowl of Captain Crunch or Lucky Charms and watch your favorite Saturday Morning Cartoons. All children at heart welcome! We look forward to seeing you! For more information call Mark T. Zeilman at 610-5718. www.mtzart.com

Villazante Art-NEW LOCATION (1551 S. Commerce St, 1/2 block north of Wyoming, 1 block west of Main Street) Opening show "Vision Quest". For more information call 580-7076


capital h Gallery (Suite 204, upstairs in Arts Factory) In celebration of our city's centennial..."HIGH NOON" our 3rd Installment in the popular series, featuring the mid-century signage of Las Vegas at mid-day AND "LIGHT PORTRAITS" with a re-hanging of CAC Wild Wild West Juried Show sensation, "70's Steve Wynn" and the unveiling of 2 more Las Vegas legends All original works by Brian Henry
Opening First Friday, May 6th AND open for the centennial celebrations Saturday, May 7th and Sunday Brunch, May 8th.

CONTEMPORARY ARTS COLLECTIVE (in Arts Factory): presents new work www.cac-lasvegas.org

CRICKET STUDIO & FACE UP GALLERY ( upstairs in Arts Factory) : The Art of Recognition 100% Show with new works by DAR FREELAND. Ink & fine art watercolor on paper, acrylics on canvas, originals and prints, t-shirts, bookmarks and more ongoing through June 30th, 2005 www.faceupstudio.com Cricket Studio (www.cricketstudio.com) "Panoramas" and "Drawings from the Boneyard " Illustrations by Brian Swanson. Photographic panoramas, illustrations on paper, pastels and prints ongoing through June 30th, 2005. With special guest Dave Bassett, a photographer, who will showcase manipulated prints and magical mystery images from around Nevada. Curious rocks will also be on display. One night only. www.bassettstudios.com

CUBE GALLERY (in Arts Factory): Christopher Rollins, Christopher Scott Studios, Digital Photography, Current Series being shown: Vintage Vegas (Old and New).Tony Tompkins, Tony Tompkins Images, Digital Photography.

5IVE FINGER MISCOUNT (in Arts Factory): Open studio featuring the work of Iceberg Slick and KD Matheson. http://www.kdarts.com/

MIKE GRIESGRABER STUDIO (in Arts Factory): new work by Mike Griesgraber.

MIKE WARDLE GALLERY ( upstairs in Arts Factory): featuring abstract expressionist paintings, both large and small. Reception 6-10 p.m. with drinks and Hors d'oeuvres.

SEAT [Social Experimentation and Absurd Theater (in Arts Factory)]: Voted Best Performance Art Group in Las Vegas 2005 by the staff of The Review Journal. Come see why! Choose from many performances Friday, May 6. 7pm : The Human Zoo (subversive sketch comedy and performance art) :: 5.00 USD 8pm : Test Market (time manipulation, dream reproduction, performance art that happens to be funny) :: 5.00 USD 9pm : The Human Zoo :: 5.00 (USD) 10pm : Croquet is Okay : The Picaresque Tale of Villainy (a new play from Seatle playwright/professor/author/poet Larry Coffin that is guaranteed to push holes into your brain while tickling your stomach with laughter.) :: 15.00 USD. SATURDAY 2pm : Confessions of a PT&A with Carole Montgomery (as seen on VH-1, Comedy Central, Showtime...) : original one-woman show that destroys the artificial stricture of conservative thinking in modern times. This is a special encore presentation. :: 10.00 (USD) Call 736-4313 or visit www.godsexandbowling.com.

TRIFECTA GALLERY (in Arts Factory): Marty Walsh, Steven Spann and Jennifer Main present "New Work." Plus. Walsh is planning a Helldorado surprise- you'll have to wait and see! First Friday reception 6-10 pm. 384 3860. www.martywalshgallery.com and www.stevenspann.com

ZOLLAR GALLERY (in Arts Factory): Open gallery www.laurazollar.com

S2ART: May 6 First Friday will exhibit the atelier’s Art of the Movies limited edition lithograph collection (featuring The American Film Institute’s “ 100 Years – 100 American Movie Poster Classics”) from 7-9pm at One East Charleston Boulevard, in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District. The antique lithography presses in the atelier will demonstrate old-world printing techniques throughout the evening. www.s2art.com



NEVADA ARTS COUNCIL: Open gallery. www.NevadaCulture.org

REED WHIPPLE CULTURAL CENTER: Open until 9 pm on First Friday


DURETTE STUDIO: "The Art of Decorative Hardware" is happening at Durette Studio. Come in to see Las Vegas' premier selection of European Door and Cabinet Hardware, Lighting and Accessories. Our inventory selection truly is "Jewelry" for your home. As always, our very own jazz trio, Studio Jazz will be performing. Light refreshments. 5 to 9 PM.

MODIFY: Vintage Modern furnishings. Open late.

OPPORTUNITY VILLAGE THRIFT SHOP: Come and check out our new look! Open until 10 p.m. 50% off selected merchandise. Come shop and save and check out some of our wild and funky items.

THE ATTIC: 20 % off sale. Open till 8pm


GYPSY CARAVAN ANTIQUES: Don's miss the surf band Vista Four playing out front!! 10% discount for First Friday patrons.

YANA'S JUNK: Refreshments; 10% for First Friday patrons.

ATOMIC CITY TATTOO : Come down for live music, Djs and BBQ. For more information please visit www.atomiccitytattoo.com.

RED ROOSTER: 10% off merchandise for First Friday patrons. Open late.

NOT JUST ANTIQUES: A new store located at 1422 Western Avenue (between Charleston & Oakey) Vintage Shops & Art. Offering 10% off store-wide. Refreshments will be served. Open late and lots of parking. www.notjustantiquesmart.com

D'LOE HOUSE OF STYLE: Vintage clothing and accessories. Refreshments. Open late.

IOWA CAFE: Live music, drink specials and plenty of FREE parking. Open late.


DINO'S LOUNGE: From 10:30 to 1 a.m. check out the sounds of The Clydesdale followed by Karaoke with host Danny G. Don't miss the NINES at NINE pm Sunday May 8!!! Check website for future dates. www.dinoslv.com

THE ICE HOUSE: "The Get Back" funky soul dance party with deejays John Doe, Danny Boy, Dirtycrum, Standing 8, Pizzo, Aurajin and Ryan Pardey. 10pm until the wee hours. $5 for girls, $10 for guys. Drink specials all night, free easy parking, and a great vibe guaranteed. Besides, where else can you cut loose on a dance floor to an old dusty funk 45 and be joined by a few hundred other funky soul freaks? Only at Las Vegas' only Funky Soul Dance Party: "The Get Back!"

VegasArtists.com: Now located in the Aruba on the strip. Visit http://www.vegasartists.com for more details.

Fremont Street--Lightscapes program "Aria" presented for First Friday, May 6, 2005, 10:00 p.m. at the Fremont Street Experience. The Las Vegas Arts Commission's Lightscapes and the Fremont Street Experience present Jennifer Steinkamp's "Aria" on Viva Vision, the famous Fremont Street Experience Light and Sound show presented on a high-tech overhead canopy that extends the length of more than five football fields. The show begins 10:00 P.M. Friday, May 6, 2005, as part of the Centennial First Friday extravaganza. Come and experience world class video art on the biggest video screen in the world with over 12.5 million synchronized LED modules offering crisp, high-resolution images and astounding special affects – all synched to a lively soundtrack fed through a state-of-the-art, 550,000-watt, concert-quality sound system.

Also, TINOCO'S BISTRO (www.tinocosbistro.net ), CHICAGO JOE'S, CASA DON JUAN & FLORIDA CAFE (www.cuban-food-usa.com/vegas_florida.html ) all have food & drink specials throughout the evening!

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