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The 2014 Fall Culture Guide:Visual Art

The 2014 Fall Culture Guide:  Visual Art |  Music |  Lit and ideas |  Family food and festivals |  Theater and dance

So, how's your schedule look next week?  And the week after that?  And the week after that?   Whether you're an art-lover, a dance aficionado, a foodie or a live music fan, our culture guide's got the goods for one very busy fall.  And we mean busy in a good way - this year's calendar is brimming with sights, sounds and tastes to engage, inspire and entertain you.  Enjoy.


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What themes may come

The new-look First Friday is all themed up and ready to grow — at least on Sept. 5, when the motif is Harvest Festival, “celebrating the bountiful goodness of the fall season.” Come Oct. 3, organizers will mark First Friday’s 12th anniversary with “12 Months and Mythology.” Nov. 7 is all about the optics with “EnLIGHTenment,” devoted to light. And grab your chaps for Dec. 5’s First Friday, its roundup theme keyed to the National Finals Rodeo. (SD) 6p, free, downtown,


Through Sept. 26

The unbearable lightness of, uh, steel

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Perhaps you recall Luis Varela-Rico’s steel-origami sculptures, installed guerrilla-style around downtown a few years ago: witty conflations of the lightness of paper with the heavy durability of metal. Varela-Rico extends that line of thinking with Organic Study No. 1, a metal hand-like form suspended — let’s say floating — in the giant space of the Clark County Government Center. (SD) Free, Rotunda Gallery,


Through Sept. 26

The art gang’s all here

Talented bunch they have teaching art and art history at CSN! Lots of names you fans of local art recognize — Chris Bauder, Mark Brandvik, Anne Hoff, Wendy Kveck, Christopher Tsouras, just to skim a few — all of whom are represented in the 2014 CSN Art & Art History Faculty Exhibition. The work promises to transcend the blah title: everything from digital media to drawing, painting to photography, ceramics to sculpture, and more. (SD) Free, CSN Fine Arts and Artspace galleries,

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Through Sept. 27

Culture jam

Ghost Dogs features the colliding-cultures art of three Japanese-Americans: Masami Teraoka, Patrick Nagatani and Sush Machida Gaikotsu. Paintings and prints that demonstrate an “acute awareness of events and issues of contemporary society.” (SD) Free, UNLV’s Donna Beam Fine Arts Gallery,


Through Sept. 27

The many sides of Sush

Las Vegas-based artist Sush Machida Gaikotsu moves seamlessly between worlds, fluidly melding Japanese and contemporary American artistic styles into a singular brand that’s as much at home on a Burton snowboard as in a high-end gallery. Tokyo in Vegas: Vision Collision ably displays these different facets of his work. (SD) Free with $18.95 general admission, Springs Preserve,


Through Oct. 10

Christina Paulos explores “twinned and mirrored characters” — potentially rich psychological ground for an artist — as well as subjects drawn from life in Rhythm, Line and Stroke (1). Not content with any one medium, Paulos will paint and draw with practically anything: ink, paint, dye, charcoal, pastel — whatever serves the needs of her image. Not content with one gallery, she’s spread this show across two: male imagery at Winchester Cultural Center (702-455-7340), female at TastySpace, (SD)


Sept. 4

Artist Melissa McGill (2) has lived here since 2005 but only now is busting out her first big solo show — a selection of multilayered encaustic paintings (using pigment-laden wax) that have a loose energy and “focus on industry and nature, exploring the dichotomy between the two.” (SD) Through Sept. 27, free, Brett Wesley Gallery,


Sept. 5

Fit this into your 140 characters!

What, as the song asks, are words for? In Words to Live By, artists Vivian Martin, Gina Alverson and Kris Krainock collaborate on a wide-ranging — photography, painting, drawing, film, poetry, interactive installations, performance — exploration of that very question. (SD) Through September, free, Blackbird Studios,


Sept. 11

New York artist Joan Linder’s (3)technique is older than old-school — she draws with ink and quill, for goodness sake — but her intent is contemporary. She renders elements of ordinary life (Google up her sink drawings) as a way to explore “the sub-technological processes of observation and mark-making.” She’ll talk about that and more as a guest of the UNLV Visiting Artist Lecture Series. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,


Sept. 11

You had me at oddly beautiful

Michigan photographer Seder Burns calls these images his Three Minute Series — it takes his unusual, homemade camera three minutes to shoot each frame, moving in slices of time from left to right. The results are distorted — people look two-dimensional — and oddly beautiful. (SD) Through Nov. 26, free, Charleston Heights Arts Center, 


Sept. 15

Pitching a tint

Old-time photos of Vegas landmarks — 1950-1960 counts as “old time” by now, right? — selectively colorized by Las Vegas News Bureau shooter Ken Jones. It’s Revisualizing Las Vegas, and it sounds like fun. (SD) Through Nov. 15, free, City Hall Chamber Gallery,


Sept. 18

You can’t have too much Brent Sommerhauser art, we always say, so this is a timely exhibit: New Sculpture and Works on Paper. (5) The sculptures are glass, both cast and blown. The paper works use a process “that deposits copper and silver onto prepared surfaces, leaving atmospheric marks with distinct temporal qualities.” Upshot: This is where you go to get your distinct temporal qualities on. Opening reception Sept. 18, 6p. (SD) Through Oct. 31, free, MCQ Fine Art,


Oct. 2

Now we know why the man is burning

Will Roger Peterson is a photographer, though that part of his life has been eclipsed by another: He’s a high muckety-muck in the group that puts on Burning Man. But still: a photographer. Now, a suite of photos he shot some 20 years ago gets its first gallery showing, and not in some posh San Fran gallery, but in Vegas. (SD) Through Oct. 29, Sin City Gallery,


Oct. 2

You had me at giant eyeball

How could you not want to hear a talk by an artist who installed giant eyeball sculptures in Chicago and St. Louis? Who created a 30-foot fiberglass image of a weary Paul Bunyan? Whose contribution to this year’s Whitney Biennial was a giant block of colored panels etched with the names of 392,486 artists — cheekily mixing complete unknowns next to famous artists as a way to subvert the established hierarchy? Answer: You would want to hear that UNLV Visiting Artist Lecture by Tony Tasset. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,


Oct. 2

In Clarity of Youth, his fourth solo show at Brett Wesley, Kevin Chupik (4) uses idealized images from childhood — ships and planes, board-game figurines — to deal with larger topics of adulthood. (SD) Free, Brett Wesley Gallery,


Oct. 3

The biiiiiiig picture

The Nevada Arts Council does a terrific thing: supports artists statewide by giving them money through fellowships. A selection of work in every genre — painting, textiles, digital, photography, sculpture, printmaking, mixed-media — by some of those recipients comprise the exhibit Panorama. Artists include Catherine Borg, Stephen Hendee, Robert Morrison and Mary Warner. This is a deep, broad survey of Silver State talent, not to be missed. (SD) Through Nov. 26, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,


Oct. 3

The subject of Stacy Rink’s (6) exhibit Kinky? “The unusual, gritty, ever-present relationship between the sexual allure of Las Vegas and its local population.” The work is a funny and brazen look at how Sin City’s sexy-glam dream factory jostles our everyday lives. (SD) Through October, free, Blackbird Studios,


Oct. 16

You had me at comically oversized heads

The illustrationy, pop brio of Wesley Anderegg’s clay pieces — funny, enigmatic figures with comically oversized heads; a dog wearing a cape — shouldn’t obscure their sly social content, “such as pollution, the degradation of the environment, and the role of government in our everyday lives.” Part of UNLV’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,


Nov. 5

Memory, adaptation, reinvention

The artist: Erik Beehn, a Las Vegan now getting his MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago. The work: drawings and collage on paper, small paintings. The ideas: “The work utilizes memory as a vehicle for reinvention. I am interested in our ability to adapt to a situation, and the layers of experience that either influence, or hinder our ability to live in the present.” The look: Moody/dreamy, layered, ghostly, with landscape elements and a palpable sense of time. (SD) Through Dec. 5 (opening reception Nov. 5, 6p), free, MCQ Fine Art,


Nov. 6

Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly made this cute diorama

What’s up with Abigail Goldman’s Home Sweet Home exhibit? 1. More miniaturized murder scenes, which she calls “dieoramas.” 2. Except this time some will be embedded into furniture, to heighten the juxtaposition between the household and the horrible. 3. Also, while the people in the dieoramas will still be small — 1/87th scale, yo — the scenes themselves will be larger: suburban houses, streets … 4. “Goldman in top form,” says gallerist Marty Walsh. 5. Goldman has sold every diorama she’s ever made. (SD) Through Nov. 28 (opening Nov. 6, 6p), free, Trifecta Gallery,


Nov. 7

Sea whiz

In her first solo show in four years, Blackbird Studios chief Gina Quaranto will delve into the mysterious connection between moon-made tidal surges and human behavior. Her blue-drenched pieces, some wall-mounted and others “in the round,” will feature moons, the sea — totems of change as a life process. (SD) Through November, free, Blackbird Studios,


Nov. 13

Check your outmoded notions of gender and material culture at the door

As you might imagine, the “intersection between gender, material culture and contemporary art” sees a lot of heavy traffic, and that’s where art critic Jenni Sorkin has set up shop. She’s lectured all over the place — a list that now includes UNLV, as part of the school’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,


Nov. 20

Desert Companion readers need little introduction to artist Robert Beckmann (7), a longtime figure in the Las Vegas art community whose work — fine art and murals alike — has reached well beyond our city limits. He’s perhaps best-known for his apocalyptic painting series “Body of a House,” based on footage from the Nevada Test Site. An artist who thinks deeply about the conceptual, ethical and metaphysical aspects of art-making, Beckmann is always worth listening to. Part of UNLV’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,


Nov. 24

Tell ’em Yorick sent ya

This is the third edition of the Chris Bauder-curated Skull Show Biennial, and the subject — perceptions of the skull in its many cultural, scientific, pop and, perhaps, even erotic manifestations — seems as inexhaustible as ever. Because, hey, death and mortality will be with us until the singularity. This time, some 40 artists take a crack at the ol’ brain bucket. (SD) Through Jan. 31, free, UNLV’s Donna Beam Fine Arts Gallery,


Dec. 4

Wendy Kveck’s (8) show, untitled at press time, is a suite of paintings and drawings that extend from her “Princess” series — woozily loose-lined (while still admirably sure-handed) images of women dealing with lives complicated by excess. Or, as Weekly art critic Dawn-Michelle Baud put it in a 2013 review, “Kveck’s ‘princess’ is a terrifying and perverse superhero beat up by overindulgence and calling it a night.” (SD) Through Dec. 28, Trifecta Gallery,


Dec. 5

Willy Wonka has already RSVP’d

For the Blackbird Studios winter group show, Pure Imagination, the gallery will become a giant chocolate factory, as in Charlie and the. That beloved children’s book will provide the theme for the show. Sounds delicious! (SD) Through January, free, Blackbird Studios,