Appreciating the Las Vegas Art Scene
Most people think of jingling slot machines, busy poker tables, and world-famous nightlife when they imagine Las Vegas. But the City of Sin has much more to offer during the daytime than you might think. And for art lovers (or just people looking for a break from the bright lights and noise of the Strip), the extra offerings include some surprisingly excellent exhibits.
The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
A long time ago, Vegas casinos learned that they stood to gain a lot by encouraging patrons to never leave. Over the years they’ve found countless ways to do this, and one approach the iconic Bellagio has taken is to collect an assortment of art that would rival most any venue in the country. The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art has hosted exhibitions from some of the world’s most famous artists (including some by Pablo Picasso and the great Andy Warhol. The collection at the Bellagio changes regularly too, so it is always worth checking when you’re in town.
The Thomas Kinkade Art Gallery
The Venetian is best known for its Venice-themed architecture and attractions, and – like the Bellagio – for having one of the best poker rooms in Vegas. This is a reputation that it is well earned. With a charging point at every seat and large screen TVs visible from every poker table, the gaming space attracts a ton of Vegas visitors specifically looking for a great poker environment. But off to the side of all the felt tables, bright lights, and marble pillars, the Venetian also holds one of most comprehensive collections of modern art in Vegas. The Thomas Kinkade Art Gallery includes limited edition prints of Marvel, DC, and Disney characters as well as more traditional art pieces for guests are able to purchase. It’s a wonderful gallery for any art lover to explore.
Martin Lawrence Galleries
The Martin Lawrence Galleries are a visual feast for fans of 20th-century fine art. Featuring original pieces by big names like Warhol, Dali, and Picasso, this venue makes for one of the most consistently star-studded line-ups on the Vegas art scene. Located in the Caesars Palace hotel and casino, this is another gallery that you can take in when you need a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip’s other famous attractions. We’ve spent hours admiring each stroke of Dali’s largest oil painting alone. There’s nothing quit like being able to marvel at a master’s work up close and in person, even if said work is displayed within a venue better known for Olympian statues and gaming tables.
The Arts Factory
If you can pull yourself away from the bright lights and loud noise of the Strip altogether and make your way to the Art District in Vegas, you can also check out The Arts Factory. This former warehouse is the creative heart of the city, hosting artists and gallery exhibits alike. Book ahead of time and you can take a tour of this unique space, interact with some local artists, and even purchase pieces if the mood strikes you. There’s also an on-site restaurant that serves up cocktails, starters, and meals that are just as creative as the space you are eating in. It is impossible to leave The Arts Factory without feeling the buzz of creative energy.
SKYE Art Gallery
If you want to get a look at the future of art, meanwhile, the SKYE Art Gallery in Las Vegas has you covered. This is actually another of the amazing art spaces in Caesars Palace, making it easy and convenient to get to for anyone staying in the main resort area. What makes this one such a unique experience is its focus on the up-and-coming artists both in Las Vegas and beyond. With artists from all over the world featured, there is a sense that SKYE Art Gallery has its finger on the pulse of the future of the art world in a unique and perhaps unmatched way.
Ultimately, the art scene in Vegas will never top the slots, poker tables, resorts, shows, and nightlife in highlights and travel guides. Those are the elements that made Vegas what it is today, and they continue to drive activity there. Over the decades though, the art scene that has developed amidst all the gaudy attractions has become formidable. It’s worthwhile for any artist to take a close look at.