Las Vegas Sun

September 22, 2023



At Saturday's dedication of the $40.5 million Centennial Hills Community Center, featuring work from the first large project of Las Vegas' "percent for arts" program, there will be something missing - the art.

Budgeting glitches delayed getting the work created and installed. Instead, there will be display boards showing designs of the work by Jeff Fulmer and Darius Kuzmickas.

A better sampling of the artists' aesthetic s can be seen at "Fulmer & Kuzmickas: Paintings, Sculpture and Photography" at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center on Las Vegas Boulevard North.

The exhibit isn't a consolation prize but was already on the calendar to run in conjunction with the opening of the community center.

Though most of the work isn't a direct relation to what will be installed at Centennial Hills, Fulmer's abstract sculpture "Trumpet Pitcher," featuring an aluminum-cut silhouette of the plant, resembles three sculptural works he created for the center. The 8-foot-high, 4-foot-wide pieces, based on the endangered Las Vegas bear poppy plant , will be at the entrance to the community center.

Kuzmickas' photos of ocean scenes on display at Reed Whipple don't directly connect to his sculptural glass, metal and photography markers , which will be installed in a corridor at Centennial Hills. But they give a sense of the way he plays with light.Using a pinhole camera , Kuzmickas captures abstract images of the intensity of the sun in otherwise serene ocean images. One photo features the sun as a fiery explosion. Another reshapes it into a vertical beam.

Fulmer's work for Centennial Hills is completed and ready to go. Kuzmickas is waiting for his designs to be fabricated, which he says should begin in about three weeks now that the city money has come through. He expects the work to be installed at the end of October. The markers for the community center stand 8 feet tall, have steel bases and caps , and will be lighted from inside. Images will be laminated in the glass.

This is the city's first percent for art project of this scale. The percent for arts program allocates 1 percent of capital projects for funding public art.

Kuzmickas' work is expected to cost about $64,000; Fulmer's about $25,000, depending on the cost of bases.

The artists were selected in 2004 to work with architects. Original funding for the project was minimal, but the city got more money as more capital projects came on board. Building delays and construction costs also "threw us off a little," says Lisa Stamanis, administrator for the city's visual arts program.

"We certainly want to see it done. We were hoping that their work would be installed by the time they had their show. You have to be resilient. You have to be flexible. We're also learning about the budgeting process."

Fulmer and Kuzmickas will be at tonight's artist reception at Reed Whipple , beginning at 5:30 .

Details: "Fulmer and Kuzmickas: Paintings, Sculpture and Photography," 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Reed Whipple Cultural Center, 821 Las Vegas Blvd. North, 229-6211.

Modern masterpieces

There is nothing so precious as when New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation recognizes Las Vegas. The museum has arranged for the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum to bring back a few familiar names and delicious works in an exhibit opening Friday titled "Modern Masters From the Guggenheim Collection." Klee, Kandinsky, Picasso, Miro, Beckman and Chagall are part of the line up of 24 artists and more than 30 works. Some of the works you'll remember from "The Pursuit of Pleasure" exhibit , which opened in July 2005. Other works are making their Las Vegas debut.

Details: "Modern Masters From the Guggenheim Collection," 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. daily, Guggenheim Hermitage Museum inside the Venetian, through April . Admission is $19.50; $15 for seniors and Nevada residents; $12.50 for students; $9.50 for children ages 6-12 ; and free for children younger than 6, 414-2440.

Art Roundup

The Las Vegas Art Museum partied last night with an awards presentation and opening reception for its 56th Annual Art Roundup Juried Exhibition, which opens to the public today and will run through Aug. 26. The exhibit was judged and curated by Matty Byloos, a Los Angeles artist, who exhibited last year in Las Vegas at Dust Gallery. The show features the best of the best submitted works from Nevada artists. On display are 43 pieces from more than 700 that were entered. It includes sculpture, photography, video, works on paper and watercolor. Some are saying this is the strongest Roundup yet. The work is shown in the Studio Gallery, the Grotto and the Polis-Carver Gallery. The museum's main gallery is closed for construction as it prepares for "Las Vegas Diaspora: The Emergence of Contemporary Art from the Neon Homeland." That exhibit, curated by writer, professor and art critic Dave Hickey, opens at the end of September and features artists whom Hickey taught at UNLV.

Details: 56th Annual Art Roundup Juried Exhibition, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, through Aug. 25, Las Vegas Art Museum, 9600 W. Sahara Ave. Admission to the exhibit is free . 360-8000.

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