Don’t let an unflattering neon glow, droves of comfort sandals strolling the casino floors, or the in-your-face truck-side advertisements cruising up and down the Strip deceive you. Art and culture exist in Las Vegas, no matter what the snobs say. You just have to look past the slot machines, buffet lines, and drunken bachelor party groups to find it. From historic pieces providing you with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to powerful sculptures that soothe your soul, Las Vegas offers its visitors an abundance of art. Here are three places to appreciate it.
One step into the Bellagio, and you are immediately welcomed with art. Look up. There, on the ceiling above the Bellagio lobby, are 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers waiting to greet you. Created by American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, Fiori di Como is a neck-straining, breathtaking visual wonder of seductive colors, shapes, and swirls. Best of all, this chance for art appreciation is free.
Steps away from this display is the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. With a rotating schedule of exhibits – which in the past have included artwork from Picasso, Fabergé, and Andy Warhol – the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is tucked away in an intimate setting apart from the casino floor in the Promenade Shops. Check with the property’s website for current exhibition information.
Downtown Las Vegas
First, the wall murals displayed along Fremont Street, Ogden Avenue, and other adjacent downtown streets, are a must-see for the Instagram opportunity alone. Once you spot an art mural you love, take a picture. They’re known to change yearly, especially in conjunction with the Life Is Beautiful music festival.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Vegas for the first Friday of the month, head over to the First Friday Las Vegas street festival, located in the area known as the Arts District (between Colorado and Hoover, and Commerce and 4th Street). There, you’ll find yourself immersed in a scene speckled with performance art, music, food and dozens of independent artists highlighting their talent. The event is free, and attracts tons of people, resulting in minimal parking. Leave the car behind and take a Lyft.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
All you have to do is keep your eyes open to see the various art pieces adorning the walls and halls of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. At the check-in desk, eight 15-foot columns flash a series of digital art experiences, each with its own narrative.
Hundreds of jaw-dropping contemporary pieces of art are on display all over the property. From impressive large-scale paintings, to mixed media, photography and impactful sculptures, both emerging artists and established ones have found a home at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. And don’t miss out on dispensed art via the six Art-o-mat machines strewn throughout the resort. Each Art-o-mat is made from a repurposed cigarette vending machine. Pull the knob to unleash a unique piece of art from a local artist.