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...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Experience of Experiences...

Paco at Place
This weekends jaunt to First Friday was magical to say the least. I do have to mention that it has been a long time since I have traversed the alleys of Downtown and have woken up the next morning truly satisfied with everything that I experienced the evening before.

Of course the evening started off at my place on the boulevard for a few cocktails with friends and then a quick walk to PLACE gallery on Main. Gina Quaranto, PLACE Gallery's fabulous proprietor always greets everyone with a giant smile not to mention the throngs of people there to enjoy some amazing art, music and live sculpting. The evening then proceeded over to Retro Vegas to say hello to Marc and Bill, proprietors of one of Las Vegas' great vintage furniture stores, and after a short 10 foot walk from Retro Vegas you enter Todd VonBastiaans Alios Gallery.

I will say this, it is rare occasion that I walk into a gallery and have what some would call a ZEN moment. It has happened to me on a few occasions, once at the Tate Modern in London when I was presented with not one, not two, but three Piet Mondrian paintings within one small gallery at the museum appropriately called Utopia. The second time I experienced a similar moment was at the Wynn when Mr. Wynn had his gallery space. There is something to be said about standing at a certain position in said gallery looking at a Mondrian, who just happens to be my favorite artist, and immediately looking across the room at a Vermeer while at the same time knowing that Picasso's La Reve was behind me. There is no place in the world that I recall where you will ever see such a collection of the greatest artists in history, in such close proximity, as you would have seen at the Wynn at that moment. All I can say is thank you Mr. Wynn for the experience. But with all this said I was fortunate enough to experience another ZEN moment at Alios Gallery this past First Friday.

The Architects &
Designers of RFP 2010
at Alios Gallery
It is one thing to hang a collection of art on a wall and it is a completely different situation to exhibit it. I have always said artists create, curators curate and there is no other way around it, curating is an art form in and of itself. Obviously Todd's curatorial prowess set the tone for the exhibition at his gallery. His show RFP 2010 was a ZEN moment for me. The exhibitions collection and presentation truly made me feel that this was one of the strongest contemporary shows that I had the pleasure to experience period, let alone in my native Las Vegas. Though there were dozens of people inside the gallery I was still able to step back and enjoy the sensory experience and muse with the creative energy of the architects and designers who were brought together to present. I do suspect that I will have to return a few more times to truly fathom the extent of this important exhibition.

Enchanted Florist Tea Party
at the Arts Factory
After all this, First Friday continued unabated as we made our way to the historic Arts Factory, the hub of 18b. Though I had mused with the art at the Factory the day before on Preview Thursdays my friend Ryan asked me to visit his lovely wife's presentation. How could I say no? On the second floor of the Arts Factory I was presented one of the most spectacular floral exhibitions in recent memory. Kathryn Bruce-Reason's Enchanted Florist exhibition was a recreation of Alice in Wonderland's Mad Hatter's Tea Party; appropriate considering Tim Burton's movie just came out. Unfortunately my camera phone could never capture the true essence of the exhibition, you can at least see the vibrancy of the colors and the setting in which the exhibition took place.

In the end I was able to have several great experiences this past First Friday though I do send out my apologies to the dozens of galleries shows and musical events that I missed.

Alas there is always next month...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you should check out RC Wonderly/Daniel Habegger at the Winchester and their upcoming show opening Monday (reception on April First Friday) at the Gov't Center

2:27 AM


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