Las Vegas Sun

November 16, 2018

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Curb and animal appeal


Leila Navidi

A detail of “Untitled (Ursine)” by Jill Greenberg, part of an Ambient Art Projects show called “Animal Attraction,” is photographed at the gallery on the residential property of Milo Miloscia and John Nelson on Monday, July 20, 2009.

"Animal Attraction"

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Art collectors Milo Miloscia and John Nelson bought a desert modern-style house in Las Vegas about four years ago. The home was perfect for their collection of contemporary art and high-end design, but they wondered what to do about the addition out back.

The building with its open floor plan overlooks a pool and was added by the home’s second owner as a gallery to showcase his personal art collection.

Miloscia and Nelson considered the limited number of contemporary galleries in Las Vegas and decided to turn the 2,400-square-foot building into an appointment-only gallery with rotating exhibits and public openings.

They teamed with art consultant Anne Mennealy and her husband, Ryan, former neighbors from Los Angeles, to form Ambient Art Projects, which also is an art advisory service. It’s their attempt to showcase art that interests them and offer new collectors a chance to see alternatives to what is being sold in commercial galleries on the Strip.

“There is a lot of great work that should be shown,” Miloscia says. “We just want to keep people interested in looking at art, mainly because we feel like it should be looked at. Our first opening was the day that the Las Vegas Art Museum closed.”

That exhibit featured works by local and national emerging artists and was geared toward designers and the general public.

Its new show, “Animal Attraction,” on display through Aug. 15, is more in line with their personal tastes and geared toward private collectors.

The animal-themed contemporary works by eight artists using a variety of media include Elaine Bradford’s taxidermal animals dressed in crocheted sweaters, Macha Suzuki’s squirrel drawings and nature-inspired sculpture, Jill Greenberg’s staged photos of wild animals, and works by Sush Machida Gaikotsu, who studied at UNLV and was featured at the Las Vegas Art Museum.

Miloscia, originally from New York, moved here from Los Angeles more than five years ago with Nelson. Both are concert producers. They’d been collecting art for years, starting their diverse collection with photography, then moving onto paintings, sculpture and furniture. Their home includes pieces by Jaime Hayon, Jeremy Thomas, Steve Goddard, and Venske and Spanle. Their vast photography collection includes works by Horace Bristol, Olivo Barbieri and Bill Jacobson. Las Vegas artists David Ryan and Tim Bavington also are in their collection.

Miloscia says he’s always surprised to visit Las Vegas homes with blank walls and less options than before to experience contemporary works.

Sweater-wearing stuffed squirrels might be too avant-garde for Las Vegas, he says, but at least it’s another option: “In all the shows in Las Vegas, we hadn’t seen anything like that.”

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