As exciting as they are, art openings can hinder the art experience, what with all the wine and food and guests and chatter. But the crowd that turned out for the opening of Decade last week at the Fifth Street School seemed integral to the exhibit, representing, much like the show, nothing but love for Las Vegas—its neighborhoods, landmarks, buildings and transformation, dings, dents and all.
- Through March 13, by appointment. Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St., 229-6511
Curated by artist Erin Stellmon, Decade provides an intimate story of Las Vegas’ past 10 years in photographs by artists Catherine Borg, Clay Heximer and Joel Rosales. For locals and longtime residents, particularly Downtowners, many of who attended the opening, the real story exists in these photos, which portray a sense of history and community in a city known more for new sprawl and commercialized excess.
Images of the crumbled, closed, decayed or graffiti-marked sites and buildings serve as a fond farewell to familiar sites in a city that quickly evolves. Borg, a Las Vegas multimedia artist born and raised in the Bay Area, surveys the tagged storefronts and nooks of Commercial Center. Rosales, a Las Vegas native who has documented hotels, attractions and demolitions, uses a Holga camera to depict his love and fascination with architecture. Heximer, a lifelong Las Vegan who has documented exterior mid-mod homes, tiny roadside mid-mod motels and Googie signs, presents one of the more interesting pieces in the show: the worn and ironic “Your future starts here” sign that has brought many a twisted smile to passersby.