The Las Vegas Art Museum was the creation of a vision by several art lovers who got together half a decade ago to form the Las Vegas Art League. Once situated in Lorenzi Park, the museum made a move to its present location at the Sahara West Library/Fine Art Museum Building in 1997. As such, the museum takes up a fourth of the 122,000 square feet of this complex with one main exhibition gallery consisting of 4,500 square feet of floor space and two smaller adjacent galleries of 1,500 square feet each. The museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute and was the first fine-arts museum to be created in southern Nevada.
The Las Vegas Art Museum is home to several diverse exhibitions, with a sharp emphasis on contemporary fine art and design. In the past, however, the museum has hosted exhibitions by masters such as Marc Chagall, August Rodin and Dale Chihuly. The museum consistently shows works on a national and international scale, with focus on the Post Modernist Era of art. Listed in the National Registry of Art Museums, this venue is a much-visited location by locals and tourists alike.
Past exhibitions at the LVAM have included “Roy Lichstenstein Prints: 1956 – 1997” and “100 Years of Influence: Women who Influenced Las Vegas”. Leaning on the museum’s focus on local, ethnic art, a highly successful exhibition to date has been the “15 Emerging Santa Fe Artists” with works by up and coming artists, done in a wide range of art forms, including abstract and landscapes, and inspired by works of some of the truly great masters such as Botticelli and Manet.
The current exhibition at the Las Vegas Art Museum is entitled “Las Vegas Diaspora: The Emergence of Contemporary Art from the Neon Homeland”. Put together by one of the most famous art critics in the world, Dave Hickey, the exhibition features works by Reverend Ethan Acres, Gajin Fujita, Sush Machida Gaikotsu and David Ryan.
The Las Vegas Art Museum has a successful education program as a natural continuation of its mission to reach out to the community. Annual art competitions are a popular event arranged by the museum and winning entries are often displayed within the museum’s exhibition area. In addition, there is a close alliance between the museum and local school district to promote artistic awareness in youngsters living in the area.
For those wanting to take a little bit of the magic of LVAM home with them after a visit, the museum’s store is the perfect place to find a souvenir or gift idea. The store carries art prints, books and others. The store is open every day except Mondays.
The Las Vegas Art Museum is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm, and on Sundays from 1 pm. It is closed on Mondays. Docent tours are offered on the weekends at 2 pm. Adults pay an entrance fee (seniors are offered a discount), while children under twelve years of age are admitted free of charge. A discount is also available to students who carry an ID with them.