Three Questions: The Closure of the Contemporary Arts Center


Michele Quinn, right, with fellow Contemporary Arts Center Co-President Aurore Giguet. The center is set to close in April.

After a 25-year run, the Contemporary Arts Center of Downtown Las Vegas will be closing due to a lack of funds, the center’s board of directors announced Friday. The establishment, founded by UNLV art students, has a long-standing reputation as a focal point for community artists. In each of its seven yearly exhibits, the CAC blended homegrown works of art with contributions from national and international artists. Its future is still unknown, but there is hope that the CAC’s legacy will be carried on. The Annual Juried Show, which runs from April 3-25. will be the final exhibit of the gallery as we know it. Co-president Michele Quinn, who also runs MCQ Fine Art Advisory, sheds some light on the end of this organization that filled a nonprofit niche in the Las Vegas art world.

What circumstances led to the gallery having to close?

We had been discussing this for months now, since October of last year. The financial difficulty had ramped up, and we recently did not receive a large donation we were promised. We realized we had no viability moving forward.

Since this is so abrupt, has anything been planned for the remaining works of art and gallery space itself?

We’re open to a takeover. We have always been very volunteer-driven, and now there is an opportunity for someone new to step in.

This contrasts with Downtown Las Vegas’ cultural revitalization, which has placed an emphasis on art projects. What are your thoughts on the timing of CAC’s closing?

I would use the term “art projects” lightly. There has been a lot of noise and distraction with the recent pop-ups, but we are a 25-year institution.

The CAC’s 25th Annual Juried Show runs April 3-25; in Alios at 1217 S. Main Street.