Thursday, May 21, 2009 | midnight
Many cities have commissioned artists to enhance bus shelters; now, it’s Las Vegas’ turn. Eight artists were chosen for this year’s Stop and Glow exhibition and presented with a unique challenge. Where other cities have a defining architectural style to provide inspiration, Las Vegas’ gambling emporiums offer little environmental connection. But the artists found things to love. Some channeled nostalgia for what has been lost; others focused on the cooling properties of water. And they offered up not only the final designs, but also reinterpretations and, in one case, intermediary stages revealing the artistic process.
Stephen Hendee’s is the most complex. He started with photographs of the Fremont Street canopy’s structure, then digitally manipulated them until he arrived at an abstract design that utilized its forms while ignoring “its eruptions of light and sound.”
- Stop and Glow
- Through May 23
- Contemporary Arts Center, 382-3886
- Through May 29
- Trifecta Gallery, 366-7001.
Catherine Borg overlaid location shots for Diamonds Are Forever onto patterns derived from photographs of ornamental block walls, tying the new shelters to the past, and implying Vegas’ “cinematic timelessness.”
Sean Russell’s pastel and oil panels re-create the demolished 5th Street Liquor Store. The amateur photographs he used as references reminded him of security-camera footage, and his soft, low-key renditions feel like everyday moments from the past.
Brian Porray had the passing motorist in mind when he created the simple, attractive signage based on color schemes derived from existing forms of public transportation. Keeping “efficient and clean” in mind, he incorporated part of a bicycle between the panels.
Danielle Kelly’s images of liquefied surfaces are meant to provide a soothing oasis from the desert sun (disclosure: Kelly also writes about fine art for Las Vegas Weekly), and Todd VonBastiaans’ designs based on pool shapes are reinterpreted here in an installation of candy-colored inner tubes.
Evan Dent’s cartoon characters are meant to interact wittily with the waiting passengers. One, a large man with an extended eel-like arm, looks like he’s giving patrons a “nice friendly hug.”
To see what else these artists have been up to for the past two years, a supplementary exhibit at the Trifecta Gallery shows their recent work.