Contemporary Arts Center Alios, 1217 S. Main St., 239-9959. Thursday & Friday, 3-7 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 2-7 p.m.
Though the Contemporary Arts Center seemed comfortably at home at the Arts Factory, where it was long a cornerstone of the Vegas arts hub, seeing Sampler: Las Vegas in the group’s new temporary space at 1217 S. Main St. affirms that the CAC needed to make this move. Not only because Alios owner Todd VonBastiaans donated the spacious street-front gallery to the financially struggling nonprofit for six months, but also because of the respect given to the work in the well-lit new environment, allowing it to breathe.
The 25-year-old organization, which has limped along as a member-based, mostly volunteer-run operation (evolving and devolving based on leadership), had reached a point where its longtime home—an irregularly shaped gallery with a low-slung ceiling—was strangling the exhibits. Any home is better than no home, however, and Arts Factory owner Wes Myles, credited as the group’s largest benefactor over the years, has done his share.
But the time had come. And for all the risk in setting out with no permanent home and the possibility of becoming a pop-up, the CAC is (for now) in a good space, literally and figuratively, while it sorts out its options and draws new audiences that might have missed the gallery that was, for so long, hidden down a narrow, maze-like hallway.