Jesse Smigel "Snowball in Vegas" (2014) I Photo: Paint This Desert
FIELD NOTES: "Snowball in Vegas" by Jesse Smigel could raise expectations for the Las Vegas tradition of roadside vernacular, the monumental allusion that is the region’s contribution to pop art. The cat with eyes closed and tongue out is the inaugural sculpture for the First Street Art Trail, a project designed to connect the Arts District to Fremont Street. It guards First Street and Coolidge Avenue in the arts district and, for now, is the only sculpture scheduled for the connective corridor. It's designed to be a popular photo-op, so the sculpture is really incomplete unless shared through social networking, which is the growing interactive subtext of street art.
HMMM: The 9-foot-tall kitty "invites viewers to contemplate our relationship to the everyday" and viewers are "invited to upload their selfies and photos with Mr. Cat and emailing them to CLV@lasvegasnevada.gov for possible inclusion in City social media," says a brochure presented at the Las Vegas Arts Commission meeting on Thursday. A recommended Instagram or Twitter account, or an assigned hashtag, isn't list, which would give the project direct social networking cache. Emailing it seem so anti-social networking.
Photo: Paint This Desert
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.