They’d like for you to think of it as a welcome sign for Fremont East. On January 26, Laura Berk and Josh Levine, the organizers of the Inside Out—Las Vegas, installed a mural on 107 Las Vegas Blvd. North. It covers the exterior wall of what was an abandoned 7-Eleven (and is now under construction as part of the Downtown Project). Shot by Las Vegas photographer Jenn Burkart and with sponsorship from local print shop Tangible Color, it’s the local incarnation of a global art project with about 9,000 locations (InsideOutProject.net).
The mural is a series of 24 personality-driven black and white portraits. The subjects: random people who were found walking around Fremont Street. These anonymous individuals mug for the camera, revealing a slice of friendly, if unknowable, humanity. They hint at the possibilities of a Downtown community that is still being built.
Berk, 22, and Levine, 23, are themselves new faces on Fremont. They both came from the East Coast about six months ago to work on the Downtown Project (although they are quick to state Inside Out’s independence). The duo chose this art installation as a way of humanizing a dehumanized landscape full of empty buildings. They plan to create an online fundraising campaign for additional locations in Las Vegas, but with this one mural, they’re already well on their way toward reaching their goal.