The Western Museums Association’s (WMA) Annual Meeting is being held at The Flamingo beginning October 5 and this year's theme has regional subtext, "Expect the Unexpected." Las Vegas is well represented in the conference panels.
“Unexpected Art: Experiencing Visual Culture in Non-Traditional Spaces” with Tarissa Tiberti of Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art; Michele Quinn of MCQ Fine Art; and Lisa Marchese of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The session will be moderated by Danielle Kelly, Executive Director, of Neon Museum. The session is Monday, October 6, from 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. From the conference website:
This session rethinks venue, context, and audience through firsthand accounts of Las Vegas’s unusual—and celebrated—visual art experiences. Discussion focuses on strategies for turning presumed liabilities into assets, nurturing a migrant audience, and the complexities of corporate culture and sponsorship. This session hopes to inspire a dialogue about the significance of, and significant challenges to, creating space for culture where one might least expect it.
The other regional-centric session is “Mirror, Mirror: How Las Vegas's Museums Reflect Local Culture” with Jonathan Ullman of The Mob Museum; Allan Palmer of National Atomic Testing Museum, and Dennis McBride of Nevada State Museum. That will be held Tuesday, October 7 at 1:30 p.m. The go-to Danielle Kelly is moderating. From the website:
This session looks inside several Las Vegas institutions and examines how they reflect its terrifically unique local culture. How does context frame cultural relevance and foster value? How do we capture the stories a community tells about itself? Is cultural identity created by design or by chance? Session discussion considers the symbiosis between a city’s self-image and its institutions while shaping fresh strategies for institutionalizing cultural value and identity.
Exhibit Critique: The Neon Museum is subject for this year's subject that the conference takes a close examination of "exhibition practices of a select institution," so the newly restored neon signs, "Liberace" and "Jerry's Nugget," arrived in time for the conference.
ABOVE: James Turrell at Crystals monorail station.