New Location for CAC, Nature Turns on Us in New Show

Contemporary Arts Center

Contemporary Arts Center


For 15 years, the Contemporary Arts Center was the anchor tenant for the Arts Factory, one of the cultural hubs of the Downtown Arts District. That’s changed now that the nonprofit art gallery has relocated into the Alios space on 1217 S. Main St.

Why move? CAC co-president Aurore Giguet says Alios owner Todd VonBastiaans “gifted” the space rent-free for six months. This will allow the gallery, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, to focus on fundraising, grant writing and partnerships.

A bittersweet moment, but CAC’s board is excited to be shuffling just a few blocks away.

“Alios is a bigger, more visible and more accessible street-front white-cube space,” explains Giguet when asked about giving up anchor-tenancy in an established venue for a store along Main. “We’re thinking about how we might best serve not only the arts community but the greater Las Vegas community.”

To celebrate the re-opening of the longest-running volunteer arts organization in Southern Nevada, artist Matthew Couper unveils a curated group show, Sampler: Las Vegas (6-8 p.m. Nov. 21). The exhibit, which runs November 14 to December 14, features works by 13 artists from California, New York, St. Louis, Israel, New Zealand and Las Vegas. The show’s stated theme is to address Las Vegas’ inherent aesthetic. There is a Curator’s Talk at 7 p.m. December 5.

“With its unique signage and advertising,” Couper says, “Las Vegas is the ideal city in which to explore the relationship between image and text.”

Call 382-3886 or visit to find out more. ~Jarret Keene


Through Nov. 29

Blackbird Studios never fails to put a darkly whimsical foot forward at year’s end; in 2012, the gallery did a show based on the works of the Brothers Grimm. This year they turn to the Brothers Kraynak—writer Jeff and artist Scott, though both can draw and write a bit—to present Animal Crackers, a show and book based on the premise of what “would happen if nature had the power to do to us what we are doing to it.” The book is said to be Seuss-like in tone—lyrical and charming, but with a wicked wit and a bit of an evil side.

The show presents the art from the book in a different context, and really, you don’t need the text to appreciate the sight of Big Oil executives and real estate developers locked in cages, giant fish eating sushi made of human hands and feet, or manatees riding Jet Skis over hapless swimmers. You only need a discerning eye and a well-cultivated sense of irony. Blackbird Studios, 1551 S. Commerce St., 782-0319; ~Geoff Carter

Suggested Next Read

Painting the Citizens of Paradise


Painting the Citizens of Paradise

By Jarret Keene

It’s a little-known fact that when tourists visit the Las Vegas Strip they’re technically occupying the unincorporated township of Paradise, which also contains UNLV and McCarran International Airport, making it among the largest un-municipalities in the U.S. And as Kristine McCallister confirms with a new show of paintings at Brett Wesley Gallery, Paradise is home to many Vegas artists, performers and entrepreneurs.