KBFA principal John Barry is a Southern California kid-turned-Las Vegas transplant who has fully embraced the desert lifestyle. When he isn’t running our Las Vegas gallery, he is exploring the city with his wife and their three kids in tow. Want to take in some art while visiting Sin City? John’s Top 5 Vegas Art Moments has you covered. Some you may have heard of, some you’ll probably be less familiar with, but all of them are definitely worth checking out.

1. The Wheel of Misfortune

For such an upbeat guy, it’s hard to believe this Vegas art moment has been on John Barry’s to-do list for some time. While definitely off-the-beaten-path, this remote location on an abandoned mining site that is rumored to be to be toxic is the perfect stop for an adventurous traveler looking for a unique Vegas experience.

Back in 2012, an artist known as Aware broke onto the dilapidated industrial site and created an enormous, 250 foot wide Wheel of Fortune-style art piece. Instead of prizes, most of the spaces offer $000 or sometimes a depressing outcome like “Lose a Home”, “Bank Owned” or “Lose All Hope.” As this art piece is exposed to the harsh elements on a constant basis, there’s no telling how long it will be around for, so plan your dystopian getaway soon.

Laura Gonzalez maison & objet - yellow chair and purple couch with green accent tables
LOPFICIO purple velvet chair with a textured wood wall from Maison & Objet 2019

 

 

 

2. The RiSE Festival

The RiSE Festival is an annual music festival taking place every October that culminates in the release of tens of thousands of 100% sustainable paper sky lanterns, filling the night sky with a gorgeous light display. Attendees are invited to write messages of hope on their lanterns before releasing them, adding an interactive art element that has a beautiful message. This year John Barry and his family were all in attendance at the festival and can’t wait to make it an annual tradition.

2. The RiSE Festival

The RiSE Festival is an annual music festival taking place every October that culminates in the release of tens of thousands of 100% sustainable paper sky lanterns, filling the night sky with a gorgeous light display. Attendees are invited to write messages of hope on their lanterns before releasing them, adding an interactive art element that has a beautiful message. This year John Barry and his family were all in attendance at the festival and can’t wait to make it an annual tradition.

 

3. The Sahara West Gallery

As far as John is concerned, Sahara West Library’s art gallery is the hidden gem of the Las Vegas art scene. The library’s gallery has a permanent gallery as well as rotating temporary exhibitions featuring incredible local artists. Chances are no matter when you stop in, you’ll come upon some great finds in this cool, easily-accessible public space.

3. The Sahara West Gallery

As far as John is concerned, Sahara West Library’s art gallery is the hidden gem of the Las Vegas art scene. The library’s gallery has a permanent gallery as well as rotating temporary exhibitions featuring incredible local artists. Chances are no matter when you stop in, you’ll come upon some great finds in this cool, easily-accessible public space.

Laura Gonzalez maison & objet - yellow chair and purple couch with green accent tables
LOPFICIO purple velvet chair with a textured wood wall from Maison & Objet 2019

 

 

4. The Fremont Street Murals

If you’re as big a fan of murals as we are, or if you’re looking for an Instagrammable moment, you should take a trip to Downtown Fremont. There are dozens of murals originally on display at past Life is Beautiful festivals, as well as several by more well-known artists such as Shepherd Fairey, D*FACE and Ruben Sanchez. John recommends touring the area on a bike to cover the most ground and see as much of these larger-than-life art pieces.

4. The Fremont Street Murals

If you’re as big a fan of murals as we are, or if you’re looking for an Instagrammable moment, you should take a trip to Downtown Fremont. There are dozens of murals originally on display at past Life is Beautiful festivals, as well as several by more well-known artists such as Shepherd Fairey, D*FACE and Ruben Sanchez. John recommends touring the area on a bike to cover the most ground and see as much of these larger-than-life art pieces.

 

 

5. The Art Installations at the Life is Beautiful Festival

Even if you’ve never been, you’ve likely heard of the Life is Beautiful Festival that takes place just outside of Las Vegas every year in September. This music festival isn’t exactly under the radar, but we want to take a moment to talk about the LIB art installations that are often overlooked by attendees. Past art installations have featured immersive art experiences and, of course, those large-scale murals you can now see on display in Downtown Fremont.

5. The Art Installations at the Life is Beautiful Festival

Even if you’ve never been, you’ve likely heard of the Life is Beautiful Festival that takes place just outside of Las Vegas every year in September. This music festival isn’t exactly under the radar, but we want to take a moment to talk about the LIB art installations that are often overlooked by attendees. Past art installations have featured immersive art experiences and, of course, those large-scale murals you can now see on display in Downtown Fremont.

Laura Gonzalez maison & objet - yellow chair and purple couch with green accent tables
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