POWER PANEL: When it comes to culture, and specifically public art, Las Vegas is still a young city, said moderator Danielle Kelly . . . That was some of the cerebral swag picked up from “Unexpected Art: Experiencing Visual Culture in Non-Traditional Spaces,” one of many panels at the Western Museums Association 2014 Annual Meeting The Flamingo. . . This contingent came from Strip; Michele Quinn of MCQ Fine Art, Lisa Marchese from The Cosmopolitan, and Tarissa Tiberti of Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art . . . “The same old same old doesn’t work here,” said Michele Quinn of MCQ Fine Art. “We have to reinvent ourselves.” And as Kelly suggests “There’s still a drive for iconic generational pieces.”
FIGUREHEAD: Clark County museum director, Mark Hall-Patton, was the keynote speaker on Monday’s opening day . . . Star Power: His appearances on "Pawn Stars" as the museum administrator who doesn’t give value to an item has made him folk hero to the profession for standing fast on cultural integrity. EMERGING VOICE: Overheard at “Museum Leadership in the 21st Century, Part 2” was panelist Cat Bradley, a graduate student and Library Fellow, confessed to seasoned museum professionals that her generation “isn’t loyal." It’s not from lack of dedication, but debt and slow upward mobility at an institution.
BACK AT “Unexpected Art.” When recapping public art around City Center, murals by Shepard Fairey, RETNA, Kenny Sharf, and Shinique Smith in parking lots next are also part of programming to attract, what Marchese calls "the curious cultured class visiting from great cities." Last thought: The panels, meetings, and social hours goes on for two more days and there are events at the Springs Preserve, The Atomic Museum, the Mob Museum, and the Neon Museum. But attendees stepping away and walking through the Flamingo will find themselves in the streetscape that serves as the promenade for The Linq . . . Wanderers willl find new street art curated by I.S.I Group. Fitting for the meeting’s theme "Expect the Unexpected."
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.