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2018 Fall Culture Guide: Visual Arts


Family & Festivals | Music | Theater & Dance | Literature and Ideas | Visual Arts

As the sun sets on summer, the fall cultural season is just getting started. Plan your outings with our handpicked collection of great art, music,  literature, theater, and festival events! 

November 30

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How Many Artists Does It Take to Complete This Blurb?

We can’t name every artist included in CSN’s faculty exhibit because — hey, wait. Who says we can’t? We run this magazine! Check out this lineup: Suzanne Acosta, Linda Angel, Dennis Angel, Myranda Bair, Christopher Bauder, Mark Brandvik, Keith Conley, Michael Crowe, Brian Daw, Loretta De Grandis, Nancy Deaner, Daryl Depry, Lolita Develay, Jeff Fulmer, Jack Hallberg, Anne Hoff, Benjamin Johnsen, Elizabeth Klimek, Alfonso Lirani, Wayne Littlejohn, Gary Marx, Orlando Montenegro, Kathleen Nathan, James Ogletree, Fred O’Hare, Mary Lou Parker, Eric Pawloski, Miguel Rodriguez, Sean Russell, Floyd Shepherd, Fred Sigman, Robin Stark, Carol Treat, Christopher Tsouras, Anna Vishnevsky, and Joanne Vuillemot. Something there for you, we bet. (SD) CSN Fine Art and Artspace galleries, through November 30 (reception 6p, November 30), free, sites.


Through September 27

A Light Goes On at City Hall

Put artist and designer Brian Henry together with a computer and some sources of illumination, and he’ll create whiz-bang lighting effects. You’ve probably seen his work around town, at the SLS and elsewhere; dude’s big on the Strip. But for this exhibit, Vibrance, parked in the City Hall windows facing First Street, he’s divested himself of the fancy tech to rely — with compelling results — on “the purest qualities of illumination.” Something City Hall could generally use more of, haha. (SD)


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September 28–November 10

Snowflakes — But In a Good Way

If you only know Bobbie Ann Howell as the tireless local face of Nevada Humanities, this exhibit, Silenced Snowstorm, will reintroduce her as a singular artist. She devised cut-paper works of amazeballz intricacy, inspired by the multifaceted visual perspectives of growing up in Lee Canyon: “Patterns that evolve in contrast to organic forms that lead me into to my slight obsession of cutting snowflake and mandala patterns that become symbols within my compositions inspired by the world that surrounds us,” as she puts it. (SD) CSN Artspace Gallery, through November 10 (reception/workshop at 6p, October 25), free,


September 21

Clothes Minded

Befitting an artist who, in her native El Salvador, undertook a college project to save from extinction a traditional loom-weaving technique practiced only in one village, Leila Hernandez brings a hands-on mojo to her exhibit La Visa Negra. Inspired by the cross-cultural currents of the Texas-Mexico borderlands, these works, made primarily of ropa usada (used clothing) explore the lives of immigrant workers. (SD) CSN Fine Arts Gallery, through November 3 (preview reception at 6p, September 18), free,

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Listen to the Magpie

The activists of Collective Magpie — Tae Hwang & MR Barnadas — are known for art-based interventions that bring local participants into their actions. They’re currently working in the wild interzone between San Diego and Tijuana, work they’ll talk about in this installment of the UNLV art department’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series. (SD) UNLV’s Barrick Museum, 7p, free,


October 12

You Had Us at Art Walk

Art walk! Immerse yourself in the hive of cultural production that is UNLV with this evening of campus-wide ambling. Begin at the Barrick Museum, which opens a couple of new exhibits, including Jubilation Inflation, Tamar Ettun’s “participatory installation” of inflatable spaces, sculpture, and performance. Then, saunter, meander, mosey, sashay, or even toddle among the schools of architecture and music, the departments of art, dance, film, theater, and more. (SD) UNLV, 5-9p, free,


October 1-27


Local Latino art gets the serious showcase it deserves with ¡Americanx!, a lively introduction to the range of Latinx artists, and their varies styles and media, who call Las Vegas home: painters, sculptors, photographers, illustrators, cartoonists, and installation artists. Viva Las Vegas, indeed. (SD) UNLV’s Donna Beam Gallery, free,


Through October 5

Gotta Hand It to Her

Ours is a digital, machined, prefabricated, 3-D-printed era. So impersonal! “We so rarely receive something handmade,” artist Kim Miller says. So her exhibit Analog/Dialog is all collage and watercolor — techniques that show the artist’s hand. Each piece is based on the first line of an unwritten letter. And here’s an unusual kicker: Each piece is free — but you must send it to someone else. “I try to explore generosity with my art,” she says. *Thumbs up emoji* (SD) Winchester Cultural Center, 702-455-7340


October 4-19

Memorial in Art

Fifty-eight people died in the October 1 massacre on the Strip. To mark the anniversary, the Las Vegas Portrait Project — in which each of the victims is depicted in a portrait by artists from around the world — will fill the Rotunda of the Clark County Government Center with a tribute to the dead and an attempt to “build a bridge of hope and healing through art.” (SD) Through October 19 (opening reception 6p, October 4), free,



Through September 14

Speaking Truth to Flower

 JK Russ’s Desert Flower Power occupies this overlarge civic space with big beanbags made to resemble desert boulders; they’re covered in rugs printed with collages of desert flowers merging with the bodies of local culture types (photographed during May’s First Friday) — point being the oneness of creativity, humans, and their environment. Go ahead, sit on ’em; selfie it up. (SD) Clark County Government Center Rotunda, free,


Through September 15

Reef Madness

 “Dying coral” — that’s right, the exhibit Elena Wherry: Bleaching is about dying coral, which “look bland and lifeless, in contrast to the vivid rainbow hues of thriving coral.” Using collage and watermedia in shifting dynamics of abstraction and representation, Wherry explores the beauty and complexity of coral — and the catastrophe of climate change and pollution. (SD) CSN’s Artspace Galley, free,


Through September 22

Artists, Community; Community, Artists

 Big changes brewing in the UNLV art department under new chairman Marcus Civin (see page 15). That includes some new instructors, so let this New Faculty Exhibit in the school’s Donna Beam Gallery serve as a visual handshake with the newbies. (SD) Free,


Through September 29

No Matter Where You Go, There You Are


Comprising new works by artist Abraham Abebe, this exhibit is titled =Journey III. “” means “journey” in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, where Abebe is from. It’s the third grouping in a series of works that look at probability, chance, and identity — compelling concerns both for an immigrant and the city he now calls home. Vivid colors predominate. (SD) Charleston Heights Arts Center, free,


Through October 28


 “I am inspired by the beauty of nature and ancient civilizations," artist Musheera Nagazi writes on her online portfolio. But this exhibit, Energy of Emotions, has a less beautiful origin: These color-drenched abstractions “express the emotions she experienced while fighting cancer.” (SD) Spring Valley Library, free,


September 6

Following My Roots

The exhibit: De Chile, Mole y Pozole: Absence of Uniformity. The artist: Brissa Arana of Las Vegas. The medium: Ceramic sculpture. The theme: An “eclectic voyage into the mind” of this Mexican-American artist, and her love of her heritage. (SD) City Hall Grand Gallery, through November 16 (reception September 13, 4p), free,


September 19

We Got a Mighty Convo

Nancy Good’s CORE Contemporary, a large new art gallery in the Commercial Center, hosts monthly casual chats about art and related whatchamacallits. Listen and learn. (SD) 900 E. Karen Ave. #D222, noon and 6p (future dates: October 17, November 14, December 19), free,

 September 20

Enhanced Interrogation

Anna Wittenberg’s artwork attracts a cloud of art jargon: “questions around performativity and interactivity and their cultural and biological significance”; “highly mediated landscape”; and the ever-popular “interrogate.” Sidestep that with a visit to for glimpses of the work beneath the words — including some witty and thought-provoking interactive sculpture. She’ll talk as part of the Fall Visiting Artist Lecture Series. (SD) UNLV’s Barrick Museum, 7p, free,


September 21

Zen Is Now

Jim Stanford's mandalas are digitally collaged from images of Las Vegas signs and buildings, expressing a Zen quietude and interiority. (See page 27 for more). (SD) Sahara West Library, through November 24 (reception September 27, 5:30p), free,


September 28

The Re-Biscuiting of Las Vegas Begins Now

Artist Robby Martin, perhaps better known as local urban art-brut mainstay Biscuit Street Preacher, left town a few years ago to live off the grid. He’s back, and as the exhibit Nunca Ido demonstrates, the years in the wild haven’t mellowed his “ferocious urban paintings.” (See page 28.) (SD) CORE Contemporary, 900 E. Karen Ave. #D222, through November 21, free,


October 4

Opposition Party

 Recycled materials, a layering sensibility, hybridity, and a series of thematically opposed dualities — “the real and the imagined; the organic and the artificial; the chaotic and the orderly” — make On the Horizon, collaged canvases by Etty Yaniv, sound like an exhibit we can’t wait to see. (SD) Charleston Heights Arts Center, through January 5, free,


October 12

Keeping Up With Inflation

Not the same old art show: four inflatable rooms (!), experimental video and audio, sculptures — even live performance. These are the elements of Jubilation Inflation, by New York artist Tamar Ettun, landing in UNLV’s Barrick Museum for two months. It’s said to be a “multifaceted examination of trauma, healing, and radical empathy.” (SD) Through December 15, free,


October 17

Day of the Dead

Artists get jiggy with the annual Day of the Dead festival with works exploring the “unique character of this Latin American celebration” — so don’t look for Great Pumpkin fan art. Do look for works that put the Grim Reaper in its place. (SD) Winchester Cultural Center, through November 9, free, 702-455-7340

 November 1

Mediated, Medicated

Hearing that an artist “adopts the language of abstraction to explore the body, issues of identity, and contemporary culture,” by drawing upon “medical imaging, pharmaceutical design, and the history of modernist painting” just doesn’t prepare you for the visual oomph and sophisticated visual wit of Beverly Fishman’s work. Hear more about it in this lecture. (SD) UNLV’s Barrick Museum, 7p, free,


December 1

Acrobatic Artworks

Artists from the Cirque du Soleil empire fill the 3,000-square-foot CORE Contemporary Gallery with their work. (SD) CORE Contemporary, 900 E. Karen Ave. # D222, through December 30, free,



Scott Dickensheets is a Las Vegas writer and editor whose trenchant observations about local culture have graced the pages of publications nationwide.
As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.
Desert Companion welcomed Heidi Kyser as staff writer in January 2014. In 2018, she was promoted to senior writer and producer, working for both DC and State of Nevada. She produced KNPR’s first podcast, the Edward R. Murrow Regional Award-winning Native Nevada, in 2020. The following year, she returned her focus full-time to Desert Companion, becoming Deputy Editor, which meant she was next in line to take over when longtime editor Andrew Kiraly left in July 2022.
Kristy Totten is a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada. Previously she was a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, and has covered technology, education and economic development for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.