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...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New York Art Snob gives Vegas the Snub...

It was just over a week ago that Kristen Petersen at the Las Vegas Weekly reported about New York City art critic Julia Halperin's scathing article in ArtInfo, claiming that "Whatever art is left in Vegas won't be there for long." It is obvious that this journalist did not do her due diligence and research her topic before she came to Las Vegas and attack this communities art scene. Halperin's article 5 Indications That Las Vegas's Glitzy Art Gamble Has Gone Bust is a hastily written assessment on a fraction of Las Vegas ever expanding arts community. My question is did Halperin really come to Las Vegas on vacation or was she sent here on assignment? Basically she came to Vegas looking for trash and trash is what she wrote.

Ms. Halperin's assessment of our community's art scene is stereotypical of east coast elitism especially by reporters with ulterior motives. Another example I remember all too clearly was when Alan Elsner, a reporter from Reuters, came to Las Vegas in 2001 looking for dirt about the Liberace Museum. Not just did he misquote me but he basically alluded that the museum was still keeping Liberace in the closet, which of course was farthest from the truth. I was the museums collections manager at the time and remember clearly Elsner's own comments about how much he despised Las Vegas.

For over a century Las Vegas has grown against all odds, in an arid climate, with little water and little chance at success. But time and time again this radiant city has proven it has come back stronger and better. Kick us while we are down and we will spring right back up. We have been doing it that way for 106 years and nothing will stop us. Maybe Las Vegas does not fit Julia's or Alan's standards of arts and culture but its not supposed to. Las Vegas is its own city with its own customs and mores. Las Vegas was built on the idea, as so eloquently put by Frank Sinatra, "We did it our Way."


To contact the editors ar ArtInfo please email them at newseditors@artinfo.com 

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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


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