Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008 | 2 a.m.
Dust Gallery emits a glow from the north side of SoHo Lofts. A formally dressed crowd peruses the gallery’s Marietta Hoferer exhibit. Their voices become more audible as the night progresses in the pristine space. Some guests trickle out for fresh air and a view that is vastly different from the one at Dust’s former location. No more closeout furniture stores, darkened sidewalks and thrifty auto shops and lots.
In a matter of speaking, Dust has taken it uptown.
SoHo Lofts and its landscaped sidewalk are on the more quiet Hoover Street, home to high-end condos.
“I feel like the other gallery was my teenage gallery and this is my grown-up space,” Dust co-owner Naomi Arin said before the first opening at Dust’s new location.
But it’s not just Dust kicking up dust. The downtown landscape is changing considerably. Some of the familiar sites have moved out or up, or plan to in the Arts District.
Here’s a look at what’s gone, what’s going and who’s swapping spaces.
1. VURB Magazine
The folks at VURB burst onto the scene at the end of 2006 with a slick magazine that catered to the upscale, downtown art crowd. They turned their Arts Factory office into a gallery and threw some big parties. In addition to a swell exhibit of work by David Ryan, the space was also home to Casey Weldon and his partners in a T-shirt company. For the past several months the Ripper Jordan guys, who are known for their punchy but affordable art, have been operating out of VURB. But at the end of December the print magazine was put on hiatus and the staff at VURB moved out of the space.
Its November/December issue was its last publication. The editors plan to continue the magazine online at www.vurbmagazine.com. Amy Schmidt, one of the owners, took a job as managing director of Michele Quinn Fine Art.
2. Las Vegas Paper Doll
Anne Kellogg was one of the first tenants in the Holsum Design Center when she opened her cool stationery store in 2002. The boutique offered designer and handmade cards, high-end stationery, books, home accessories and items created by local artists. Kellogg also hosted classes and book signings. Anchored next to galleries and other boutiques, it was a big stop on First Fridays and a place where you could pick up a unique gift or alternative cards. Maybe it was too good to last. Kellogg took a job as marketing and public relations manager for the Las Vegas Art Museum and is closing the store Feb. 29. She will continue an online version of the store at www.lvpaperdoll.com.
Art collector Naomi Arin and artist Jerry Misko opened Dust Gallery in the Arts Factory in February 2003. After a year they moved into a storefront space on Main Street that hosted shows by emerging and early-career contemporary artists including Mickalene Thomas, Venske & Spanle and Matthew Radford.
With the threat of a sports arena, a parking garage and casinos moving in directly across the street, the owners started looking around and got to talking with Sam Cherry, developer of SoHo Lofts. Cherry saw them as the creative and culturally minded tenants he was seeking for SoHo’s first-floor commercial space. The gallery moved last month and had its first opening Friday. The move gives them a coveted Las Vegas address and places them amid the clientele they cater to. Hoferer’s “unknown” exhibit is on display through March 23. For a list of upcoming artists, go to www.dustgallery.com.
4. Atomic Todd
Don’t worry, Todd VonBastiaans and his brilliant, campy gallery shows aren’t going anywhere. He’s just moving into a more aesthetically pleasing and visible space. It’s a familiar one, too. Atomic Todd, which opened on Commerce Street in March, will move into Dust Gallery’s old space, at 1221 S. Main St., next month.
Atomic Todd has hosted such exhibits as “Uncle Todd’s Parade of Botched Beauties,” featuring Rachel Moseley’s prints and mixed-media works of stitched, tattooed, sexy and sometimes bearded ladies; “In Bed with Liz Renay,” featuring the paintings of the late burlesque performer, actress, writer and mother; and “Peeping Todd: Select Treasures From the Burlesque Hall of Fame.” Stay posted at www.atomictodd.com.
5. GC Arts
GC Arts closed its doors Aug. 1, but Michele Quinn, a partner in the gallery on Main Street, started a consulting business, Michele Quinn Fine Art, that will open this spring on Seventh Street. Quinn is also curatorial adviser for MGM Mirage. There has been no sign that Bill Griffin and James Corcoran, partners in GC Arts, plan to reopen the gallery. GC Arts was once Godt-Cleary Projects, a contemporary print gallery owned by art collector and Las Vegas casino executive Glenn Schaeffer. Godt-Cleary first opened in Mandalay Place, then opened a second space in the Arts District before shutting the doors on its Mandalay Place operation. The gallery hosted exhibits of works by artists Ed Ruscha, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg, Tim Bavington, John McCracken and James Turrell.