It makes sense that the Smith Center would turn to Bavington to create the monumental piece, designed to serve as a backdrop for the Smith Center’s outdoor concert series.
The artist is internationally recognized for his large-scale striped paintings that loosely translate rock songs by correlating the 12-tone music scale with a 12-tone color palette.
Bavington said he’d already been commissioned for a painting inside the Smith Center when he was asked to create the outdoor piece, but it was a new challenge for the artist, who had never created a public sculpture.
Designing an outdoor colorful piece in the desert required materials that could withstand the heat and sun. For this, he chose steel pipes and automotive paint, which he says also reflect Las Vegas and the music. Steel represents a common material, and the paint colors were derived from a sign painter palette, referencing Las Vegas’ rich history with signs. The vertically standing pipes are connected to one another on a base lined with ground lights that were placed every two feet to represent the 40 bars of the sheet music that begins in forte and ends in fortissimo. The tallest pipe stands 26 feet from the base. The width of the poles loosely marks the durations of the notes. An unpainted pole represents a musical rest at the end of the piece.
Bavington’s work is in the permanent collections of museums around the country, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
He says he selected the music for the sculpture in Symphony Park with representatives from the Smith Center and that Copland’s’ 1942 piece, written for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra — and covered by such artists as the Rolling Stones; Bob Dylan; and Emerson, Lake & Palmer — seemed to be a natural fit.
“It works,” he said — both for the park and for his style of art.
But if you’re looking for an exact interpretation, you’re not likely to find one. Bavington regards the piece as his translation: “The colors might get bent, just as with (a guitar solo by) Hendrix, a note might get bent.”
The Society IncThe Smith Center for the Performing Arts offers a blend of performances by resident companies and touring attractions. The 5-acre cultural campus features three performance spaces, which includes a main performance area with more than 2,000 seats. This downtown cultural center of Las Vegas looks to educate, entertain and excite community members.
To provide and preserve a high-quality performing arts center that is embraced by the community and recognized as a vital force by supporting artistic excellence, education and inspiration for all.
To entertain, educate, enrich and inspire the southern Nevada community.
Thanks to the generous support of our dedicated founders, members, donors and community partners, The Smith Center continues to provide a wide variety of services for Southern Nevada residents, including access to world-class performances, inspirational Education and Outreach programs for students and teachers, and a unique space to host events, meetings and special occasions. Celebrating our fifth season, we depend upon public support to fulfill our mission and serve as the Heart of the Arts for many years to come.
With ticket sales covering just 75 percent of our operating budget for each season, the remaining 25 percent comes from the community we serve. Philanthropic support at all levels helps provide programming that entertains, educates, enriches and inspires. By giving to The Smith Center, you play a vital role in providing an important resource for our community.
There are many opportunities to volunteer and play a direct role with your community's performing arts complex. Volunteers engage with staff and patrons to enhance experiences at The Smith Center, and can serve in various capacities including tour guide/docent, usher, security team member or community ambassador. As important members of The Smith Center team, volunteers help us remain financially sustainable and provide numerous services for the community. Please show your support for The Smith Center's mission by gifting your time and unique skills.
Members' annual support provides crucial resources for The Smith Center's artistic programming, education opportunities and cultural enrichment each year. There are a variety of giving options and levels, and Members receive exclusive benefits and behind-the-scenes opportunities based on their level of support. To learn more, please visit www.thesmithcenter.com/support-us/members.
The Encore Society recognizes those generous donors who have included The Smith Center as a part of their estate plan. Corporate Sponsorship is available to companies to underwrite all, or part, of a program, performance or event.
Fanfare! is The Smith Center's young progressional networking organization, open to anyone with an interest in the performing arts who is between the ages of 21-40. And our Show Dedication allows for the celebration of an individual or special occasion with unique recognition opportunities during a specific performance.
The Smith Center provides world-class performing arts and outreach and education throughout the Southern Nevada region.
The organization originally formed in 1996 as the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center.
BOARD OF DIRECTORSMyron G. MartinPresident and CEODonald D. SnyderChairmanDr. Keith BomanVice ChairmanMark TratosSecretaryMichael YackiraTreasurerDavid DunnAlan M. FeldmanRichard HaddrillFred HipwellNancy HousselsTodd-Avery LenahanScott MacTaggartJerry NadalJohn NelsonRichard PlasterRory ReidKim SinatraRoger P. Thomas
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