Las Vegas is one of the most photographed cities in the world, yet its soul is rarely captured. So getting misty over an image of an ordinary Las Vegas intersection featured in Ginger Bruner’s solo show, The Daily Frame: Portfolio Exhibition at the College of Southern Nevada is probably acceptable.
The photograph, taken at a red light, is a straight shot looking west down Sahara at Atlantic Street. The vast (and generously featured) sky is textured with gray clouds, pierced by the Stratosphere in the distance. But it’s the foreground that steals the image, a celebration of the typically unremarkable in a balanced composition, highlighting the light, lines and patterns of an intersection designed to be useful, not pretty. There’s the crosswalk, a gravel-filled median, streetlights, billboards and telephone lines, even a car dealership.
To the 2 million residents living in Southern Nevada, this is Las Vegas.
Bruner, a native Las Vegan, set out to capture the city as lead photographer and co-producer of Our Las Vegas, a creative online and public art project presenting the city from the vantage point of those who live and work here.
Images in the exhibit are taken from the “Daily Frame,” in which Bruner photographs apartment buildings, neighborhoods, a park and familiar empty lots with an honest beauty that avoids cliché. Even her images of the Boneyard and the El Cortez offer a perspective of intimacy. Mostly void of people and emphasizing the sky at twilight, they make the city seem desolate, but loved—caught in a moment of quiet.
The Daily Frame: Portfolio Exhibition, through July 12; Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., The Artspace Gallery, CSN Cheyenne Campus, 651-4146.