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, October 21, 2014

10th Annual Latino Film Festival!!!

Congratulations to the Hispanic Museum of Nevada for 10 spectacular years celebrating Latin films!

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

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Provocative Portraits by Will Roger Peterson @ Sin City Gallery

By Dr. Laura Henkel,
contributing writer

A camera alone does not make a picture. To make a picture you need a camera, a photographer and above all a subject. It is the subject that determines the interest of the photograph. - Man Ray - Oct. 2, 1966

The enchantment of erotic art has had a long history. From the explicit picture by Gustave Courbet L'Origine du monde to the sublimated metaphors of French Rococo painting, and the mystery of Victorian pornography, there has always been a dialogue between the explicit and the abstract in erotic art, and it is this dance that defines eroticism. For the artist Will Roger Peterson, one of the co-founders of Burning Man, the subject is one of celebration and performance. Exploration, spirituality, freedom and artistic expression are fundamental.

The appeal of Peterson’s compelling erotic black and white photographs is multifaceted. Peterson’s practice is at once technically interesting, intellectually engaging, and deeply sensual. In the pictures, there is a playful fluctuation between object, participant, viewer and voyeur. This fluidity is at the core of the success of Peterson’s alluring dance series (1987-present). The beguiling stop motion photographs skillfully merge erotic dance with the mystery of the 19th century Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic studies of movement. Using modes often associated with surrealist photography, Peterson inverts proportion, space and perspective creating an enthralling sense of discovery. To this end, Peterson uses motion effect including one-second exposure, strobe and spotlights on the moving subjects to create a dialogue about codified definitions of erotica, fine art and pornography. The spellbinding photographs emerge as a convergence between all three, suggestively fluctuating between a sense of the bacchanal, of the boudoir and the artistic. Light, shadow emerging from a darkness that is almost moonlit, pale snowy skin against light orchestrates a moving portrait, with an illuminated feathery atmosphere.

Many of Peterson’s images of a woman dancing are subtly erotic, elusive portraits of ballerina like dancer. The subject is Crimson Rose, Peterson’s partner of many years. The images are as much an expression of her sexuality and personality as his desire, or that of the viewer / voyeur. Peterson deftly shows glimpses of the feminine body against a foggy and dynamic elemental movement. She is deeply alluring, mesmeric.

Other images are reminiscent of classic example of modernist feminine beauty, channeling the magnetism of Gustav Klimt’s erotic poetry of womanhood; there is the play with closeness and distance that characterizes erotic art.

Conversely a number of racy images showcase fetish, costume and role-playing. Throughout, there is a riveting sense of delight, sexuality and enjoyment. As well, one of the most compelling pictures is an inversion of the typical female nude, a self-portrait of a masked Peterson as an expression of male virility veiled in mystery that also functions as a trope on surrealist practice linking his work to the practice of Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Andre Breton, Brassai, Salvador Dali, and Andre Kertesz.

Peterson’s journey to the capturing of the reverie of sexual exploration has taken an interesting path. Before beginning his study of the elusive subject of human sexuality and desire, he began in a field defined by quantification. Originally trained in analytical chemistry, Peterson worked at the Rochester Institute of Technology, eventually earning an MFA and finally serving as a professor of photography. As a teacher he became well known for his course, “In Search of the Mystical Image.” And indeed, Peterson’s work juxtaposes the mystical and ephemeral with physical desire in this series of suggestive photographs, a dance is captured as a moment in time with tactile sexuality. Always interesting in depicting and portraiture, Peterson moved to California in 1991 to concentrate on portrait photography. However, when digital film took over the industry, he turned his focus to Burning Man. This concentration culminated into an artistic and personal affinity for the desert. Today, in addition to his captivating erotic photographs, Peterson also takes botanical photos and aerial images of Black Rock City. As a pioneering co-founder of The Burning Man Festival, Peterson’s work is intrinsically tied to exploration, dance and the expression of self and sexuality. The Erotic Dance series mirror not only an undercurrent of raw sexuality, but also the grace and choreography of classic art, and modern photography.

This focused study of Peterson’s erotic images offers an unprecedented and intimate view into the magnetism of sexuality, dance and discovery and is the first exhibit of the artist’s work in twenty years.

Exhibition Dates

October 18, 2014 - Meet The Artist @ Sin City Gallery

Exhibition runs through October 18, 2014 @ www.sincitygallery.com

October 6, 2014 – Meet the Artist @ Sierra Arts Foundation

Exhibition runs through November 4 – 26, 2014 @ www.sierra-arts.org


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

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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Gay Marriage legalized in Nevada!!!

“The lessons of our constitutional history are clear: Inclusion strengthens, rather than weakens, our most important institutions,” Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt

Finally! After years and years of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Nevada's constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. This is a monumental win for gay and lesbian couples in Nevada who have been denied the basic rights and privileges of straight couples. Though this was a hard fight, in the end those on the right side of history have prevailed.

Congratulations to everyone who fought so hard to make this a reality in Nevada and beyond. Now come to Las Vegas and get married!!!

For more information on getting a marriage licence in Clark County -


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

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Saturday, October 04, 2014

Community Spotlight: Allison Burns

By Onnoleigh Sweetman,
contributing writer

Bartering Bad Ass

Ali Burns is platinum blonde haired, blue-eyed girl with a cute pep in her step and a light southern twang. I first met Ali back in my club days at Club Ice on Paradise and Harmon. I was immediately captivated by her inviting personality, zest for life and friendly demeanor. She was spunky, she was blonde, she was my soul sister…

One thing I've learned about Ali over the years, is not to be fooled by the small stature and southern drawl. This girl has a big personality and even more fiery ambition. If she’s not appearing in rock videos, she’s spending her time building her resume’ as a Vegan Chef, humanitarian, world traveler, performer, model, designer, and the list goes on and on. Founder of Conscience Cuisine (just as the name suggests) and Founder of Howl at the Moon Festival and Food drive, Ali also spends her time volunteering with local Burners without Borders projects and Go-Go dancing for the DTLV electronic dance troupe Nytronix. Ali makes a New York gal like myself look at the term Bad Ass with a whole new meaning and reverence. Add single mother to the equation and you get nothing but respect for a gal that continues to push forward, move ahead and reinvent herself and her artistic approach at every corner.

These days, Ali has teamed up with former Green Valley High School classmate Brianna Coleman to bring Las Vegas The Open Closet Project.- “A karmic clothing encounter” in which both women are reinventing retail in a trade-based setting. They currently have a space to trade daily inside Reclaimed Art Suppliez at 1114 S. Casino Center, an experimental art gallery, store and community center in downtown Las Vegas. To kick off the premier of this fashion forward project, Ali and Brianna are producing a large scale event at Rainbow’s End on Saturday October 4th. “Wear it Forward: Fashion Show & Clothing Drive” is an interactive clothing exchange and fashion show complete with over 25 vendors, fine art by Mike Wardle, organic food by Rainbow’s End Cafe, live band CoConUT & the CLue, beats by Dre Morningstar, poi spinning by Hope Quinnones and live performances by Sara Lyn and Georgia Curringa of Nytronix Entertainment. The event starts at 6:00 pm and goes till 10:00pm. So clean out your closets ladies (and gems), fill up a barter bag, and experience the Bad Ass Bartering Blonde that is Miss Ali Burns.

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

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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The 12th Anniversary of First Friday is one for the record books...

I rarely talk about myself on this crazy little blog but on occasion things happen that require me to step outside and smile. I am very very humbled to have been asked to co-curate First Friday's 12 Anniversary this October. I strongly believe that First Friday is one of the most important cultural arts event in Las Vegas History. With 144 First Fridays that have occurred over the last 12 years there is no doubt that it has reached a great status.

The 12th Anniversary will be a great celebration of Art and Culture like we have never seen and with the lineup of artists that will be featured, I can say this one is for the record books. 

Thank You!

Las Vegas Cultural Icon Brian “Paco” Alvarez Named Guest Curator for First Friday Las Vegas’ 12th Anniversary Celebration

Oct. 3 Event to Feature 12 Veteran First Friday Artists Showing with 12 Emerging Artists

LAS VEGAS – September 17, 2014 – In celebration of the 12th anniversary of First Friday Las Vegas, one of the largest arts and culture festivals in the Western United States, event organizers have named Las Vegas cultural icon Brian “Paco” Alvarez as a special curator for “Time, Mythology and 12” on Friday, Oct. 3. First Friday has become the leader for family-friendly activities, art, cultural enrichment, educational efforts, community and more; mostly low cost or free of cost, for every age.

Following the likes of ISI Group and Jennifer Cornthwaite, Alvarez is responsible for choosing the artists represented on the main art thoroughfare at First Friday, Casino Center between Colorado and Charleston. To commemorate the 12th anniversary and the lasting impact First Friday has had on the Las Vegas community, Alvarez has invited back 12 popular artists who showed at First Friday in the early years and who have made sustainable careers as artists in the local community. These established artists will be paired with emerging artists, mentoring them through the First Friday process and giving them a platform to develop their own following.

“It’s an honor to be a curator for First Friday’s October event and especially for the 12th anniversary,” said Alvarez. “As a Las Vegan, I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact First Friday has had on the community as a whole and the opportunities it has afforded artists in our city.”

Native Las Vegan, UNLV graduate and urban historian, Brian “Paco” Alvarez is the current curator and corporate historian for Zappos.com. He also currently serves as arts commissioner for the City of Las Vegas, Ward 3. Alvarez’s major curatorial projects include Vintage Point, Contemporary Arts Center (2007); The Fabulous Flamingo, West Charleston Library (2009); Fabulous Downtown, City of Las Vegas City Hall (2011); Golden Age of Glam, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (2012); and the Zappos Mural Project and Artist Showcase, Zappos.com (2014). He has served on the boards of the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation – National Atomic Testing Museum, Nevada Museums Association, Preserve Nevada, Contemporary Arts Center of Las Vegas and the 18b Arts District Neighborhood Association to name a few.

Celebrating its 12th anniversary with “Time, Mythology and 12” on Friday, Oct. 3. First Friday Las Vegas turns to the representation of the number 12 to serve as inspiration for the event. From hours on a clock, months in a year, signs in the Zodiac; 12 is the number that dictates the rhythm of life. 12 represents that which is completed, that which forms a whole and that which embodies a perfect and harmonious unit, it is the symbol of the closing and of a circle and new beginnings. 12 is the number of years First Friday Las Vegas has been bringing enchantment to the Las Vegas community.

First Friday Las Vegas will continue the popular Arts Row, featuring works of emerging Las Vegas artists, arts and crafts vendors in The Bazaar and live music in The Hub, running down Casino Center from Colorado to Charleston, in the heart of the Arts District.

The popular Green Street on California Avenue, between Main Street and Casino Center Drive, is set to transform into Pure Green Place. First Friday has always been committed to reducing its carbon footprint and through Pure Green Place will educate and foster action within the community by showcasing alternate methods of transportation, renewable energy and sustainable products. First Friday organizers continue to make the Kids Zonemore interactive and appealing to the young art aficionados while the Think Safe Zone continues with a focus on local charitable organizations, community action and involvement and safety tips for Las Vegans.

All interview and photo inquiries, as well as camera clearance and parking instructions, can be directed to Michelle Wilmoth at michelle@prpluslv.comor 702.561.3872.


5 p.m. – 11 p.m.


Shuttle service will run from 4:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Four Open Top Sightseeing Shuttles, two Celebrity Coaches and an additional handicap equipped shuttle will make a constant loop around the entire event route.

For Handicap Transportation to event, please call: 702-736-6491

There will be ample free parking as well as $5 parking lots.

**If you park in unauthorized parking areas, you may be subject to towing.

Fremont Route Shuttle Stops:

* El Cortez- pick up and drop off on 6th St. across from the El Cortez valet entrance

* Container Park – Newest Stop

* Arts District Hub at Colorado and Main

Please note the Government Center Route Shuttle Stop or parking at the Government Center is no longer available for First Friday visitors.


For more information on First Friday Las Vegas, please check the website www.firstfridaylasvegas.com, the Facebook page www.facebook.com/firstfridaylasvegas or on twitter at @firstfridaylv.


First Friday Las Vegas has been a mainstay of arts and culture in downtown Las Vegas for eleven years and has become the leader for family-friendly activities, art, cultural enrichment, educational efforts, imagination, community and more; mostly low cost or free of cost, for every age. The outdoor event which averages 20,000 patrons each month features several areas throughout Downtown Las Vegas that showcases artists of all calibers and genres. Stages throughout the festival feature live music, food vendors and food trucks offer the finest in cuisine and other celebratory events each month are always working to build community in Las Vegas. First Friday Las Vegas, LLC’s Managing Partner is Joey Vanas. For more information on First Friday Las Vegas, please check the website www.firstfridaylasvegas.com, like on Facebook page or follow on Twitter.

For media information, please contact:
Michelle Wilmoth
PR Plus

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

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