Gallery Talk at KNPR

url.jpgLast week, KNPR’s State of Nevada dedicated a segment to survey the state of the local gallery scene and “…something seems to be happening in Las Vegas right now that may be signaling something a bit more troublesome for artists and for those who like to look at art.” Galleries are closing. The guests were Gina Quaranto, the owner of Blackbird Studios; and  Robert Tracy, Associate Professor of Art History at UNLV.

Trifecta Gallery is closed, as is the Amanda Harris Gallery, although Harris said the gallery will reopen under new leadership. The P3Studio at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is ending its run in January. And Blackbird Studios in the arts district is closing at the end of January.

We thought we’d explore what’s happening in the art scene here. Are those gallery closings a kind of “canary in the coal mine” signaling a shift in the Las Vegas art world?

Bob Tracy is a professor of Art History and a curator of exhibitions at UNLV. He said the art scene in Las Vegas is “precarious.”

“We find it very difficult to get people to open the door and come in,” he said.

The art gallery he curates gets its funding from the state, but he said the budget is “woeful.” So, he must go outside the university for funding. He said some of the basic functions of a gallery, like producing a catalog of the pieces, just don’t get done.

“I suspect in Las Vegas that the power brokers don’t realize how art is interconnected with everything,” Tracy said.

That may have UNLV’s own Barrick and Beam become more important strongholds that develops the region’s art culture …if funding permitted it.

“Taking The Temperature Of The Las Vegas Art World” post also links to audio.

This post was written by Ed Fuentes. He is a UNLV MFA Fine Art candidate and produces Paint This Desert, a regional arts blog, and is a contributing arts writer for KCET.

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