Street Art in Las Vegas

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Welcome to Las Vegas painting

Welcome to Las Vegas painting in the Arts District

One of my favorite activities when I’m visiting a new city is hunting for street art. Believe it or not, there can be as much artistic talent on the side of a building or on a city sidewalk as there is inside an art museum–and best of all, it’s totally free to view! Street art can make for great photo opps and selfies. It can almost be like a treasure hunt to see what you can find in any given city.

What made me start writing this post is that I noticed so much street art on my last visit to Las Vegas that I hadn’t noticed before. I don’t know if it’s that I wasn’t paying attention before or if street art has been proliferating in Vegas over the past year or so. In any case, I like the trend, and I hope it continues.

Here are a small sampling of photos of some of the free art you can find on walls and in public spaces in Downtown Las Vegas:

The Market

This mural adorns the side of the building housing The Market on Fremont Street.

Preying Mantis

This preying mantis sculpture at the Downtown Container Park was originally at Burning Man. It breathes fire periodically.

Fold 'Em

This is one of several works of street art you can spot in the 18b Arts District,

Street art

More street art in 18b.

Juan Muniz art

The art of Juan Muniz can be found here on the Arts Factory building–and on the walls of Holsteins at the Cosmopolitan.

Cycled Musings

“Cycled Musings” by Mary Hill can be found on the Art Trail in the 18b Arts District. Each one features quotes by famous writers.

Inspire Theater

I really dig this alien painted on the side of Inspire Theater.

"Pyramid at Red Rock Canyon" by Ozzie Villate

“Pyramid at Red Rock Canyon” by Ozzie Villate, located on the side of the Fremont Hotel and Casino on Third Street.

One of the great things about street art is it allows artists to react in a timely fashion to events of the day, like this:

Je suis Charlie

Just a small, understated but timely piece of street art I saw in the Arts District.

But it’s not just Downtown where you can view street art now. Any of you who have visited the new Linq on the Strip have probably noticed they’ve got some fab murals all along that alley, like these:

Mural 1

Very cool mural found at the Linq

Murals

More Linq murals

Originality mural

“Originality is our Reality”

For someone like me (a non-artist with little education about art styles, schools, methods, etc.) it’s hard to know where to stop once you start talking about street art. Do you include the spray paint artists on Fremont Street? What about sculptures in public places? Does it matter if the art was commissioned and paid for vs. not?  And how is the average person supposed to know if it was? Do you count all the neon signs in Las Vegas as street art? Where do you draw the line between graffiti and street art? Is it in the eye of the beholder?

Once I started thinking about it, it kind of made my head hurt.

I have no answers to the above questions, not even after reading this Wikipedia entry describing street art. But I don’t mind grappling with a concept that interests me, as this one does. When I searched for “street art” “las vegas” on Google, it turned up this great article listing lots more locations where you can find great street art in Vegas. I’m bookmarking it to check some of these out next time I’m in town. (I definitely need to see that “Horned Toad” mural from Life is Beautiful, assuming it’s still there when I next hit town.)

Martini glass in neon

What would Vegas be without its neon art? But does it count as “street art”?

Do you have a favorite work of street art in Las Vegas? Where and what is it?

 

4 thoughts on “Street Art in Las Vegas

  1. David

    Interesting article! I never realized all of the art either…It all blends within the scenes in Vegas with me. I’ll lookout for more of that on my trip in late June. Take Care, DB

  2. Lost Vague Us (@lostvagueus)

    Great article and Las Vegas has absolutely grown art-wise! Local and visiting artists are getting up with an increased frequency, be it with legal murals, stickers or illegal wheatpaste pieces. It is and has been a wonderful thing to document and watch grow.

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