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4 Galleries for a Vegas Art-Walkabout

4 Galleries for a Vegas Art-Walkabout


Travel to Rembrandt and back with just a stroll down The Strip.

It was Spanish explorers seeking a new trade route between New Mexico and California who first named Las Vegas, attracted by bountiful springs that nurtured a lush desert oasis visible for miles across the plateauing landscape. From its simple agricultural origins, the urban metropolis has since fostered the growth of numerous luxuriant industries, not the least of which includes a wellspring of diverse fine art venues.

Ranging from the illustrious likes of Renoir, Picasso, Chagall and Dali to Warhol, Haring and Neiman, these galleries offer works that predate Vegas' own origins alongside contemporary finds, as well. Discover history among the halls of these spaces made sacred by the masterpieces they hold--and find a map of the short route below.


1. Martin Lawrence Galleries at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace
Proud owners of Salvador Dali's largest oil painting ever made, Martin Lawrence Galleries boasts an impressive 27,000 square-foot venue that is a veritable walkabout in its own right--so much so that its interior has actually been virtually cataloged by Google Maps. Peruse Andy Warhol's complete collection of Marilyns, Mark Kostabi's vibrant oil paintings and over 25 other influential artists at Martin Lawrence--and consider taking one home, as some items are open for offers.


2. Aria Fine Art Collection at CityCenter
Within the sprawling CityCenter urban complex, the Aria Fine Art Collection houses more than 20 unqiue artists across a multitude of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography and conceptual art like Jenny Holzer's over 250-foot LED installation, "Vegas"--located along the walls of the underground parking garage by the center's valet service. Holzer's installation screens messages like, "It's important to stay clean on all levels," and "If you live simply, there is nothing to worry about," which ring in stark contrast to the city's almost inextricably bound proverb. Maya Lin's 2009, 87-foot, reclaimed silver casting of the Colorado River between Lake Powell and Lake Mead, called "Silver River," is another impactful installation at Aria--held in suspension over the plaza's registration desk. The work is designed to promote thoguht about water resource management--again, a stark contrast to often-hedonistic associations with Las Vegas.
For a complete list of installations at the Aria Fine Art Collection, browse Aria's art guide online.


3. The Art of Richard MacDonald Presented by Cirque Du Soleil(r) at Bellagio Las Vegas
MacDonald's gallery of figurative sculpture at Bellagio Las Vegas is a celebration of the beauty of human forms in dance and acrobatics--forms much like those that bound acros, over, under (and sometimes through) the stages of Cirque du Soleil's surreal and dreamlike shows. It's only fitting, then, that MacDonald's work has found favor from the prominent circus' founder and CEO, Guy Laliberte, who commissioned MacDonald to recreate the likeness of his "O" dancers, originally for the "O" Theatre lobby and eventually for multiple galleries across Los Vegas. "The art of Richard MacDonald reveals the infinite beauty of the human body," Laliberte said. "The characters he creates are playing forever in the theater of life," as well as just within the double doors of the "O" at the Bellagio.


4. Centaur Art Gallery
Though unassuming in stature when compared to the Vegas high-rise scenery, don't underestimate the collection at Centaur Art Gallery. Reportedly hosting one of the largest collections of Leroy Neiman works open to the public, and quite an extensive list of artist biographies for the dedicated buyer, Centaur caters its expansive collection to both experienced and novice patrons. To boot, the gallery offers a 5-year exchange program, providing store credit toward any item hosted in the gallery.

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Click here for more Vegas entertainment, and consider treating yourself to a relaxing, post-walkabout reward at some of the destination's finest spas.

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