‘Recombinations,’ impermanence and other tales of landscape in Las Vegas

Marshall Scheuttle in Transient Landscapes

If life’s crux is indeed constant change, then Las Vegas has a front-row seat, a clear view of the accelerated beginnings, middles and ends and more than a dinner conversation’s worth of material to dissect. So naturally, the subject plays out in art exhibits from time to time. But when it comes to art that addresses transience in a “specifically Vegas context,” writer (and former Weekly editor) Scott Dickensheets says he hasn’t seen what he considers an overwhelming amount. Thus when Bobbie Ann Howell of Nevada Humanities asked him to curate an art exhibit, he zeroed in.

In Transient Landscapes, Dickensheets brings together a diverse mix of artists creating the very by-product of transience in this town: visual melange, essentially, a strange medley discussing a strange medley.

Linda Alterwitz' "Pink Tires."

“I love a good hodgepodge, clashing juxtapositions, disjunctive associations, interrupted narratives,” Dickensheets says. “It mirrors my experience of Las Vegas. Stand on any corner of the Strip and what you experience isn’t a tidy thematic unity, but rather the bombast of competing visions.”

Transient Landscapes places works by Linda Altwerwitz, Brent Holmes, Marshall Scheuttle, Justin Favela and Robert Beckmann under one roof, mixed in with Abigail Goldman, Erin Stellmon, JW Caldwell, Gary Mar, Jared Africa, DK Sole and pieces from the Vegas Vernacular Project.

Not designed to be a thorough analysis of transience and its potentially harmful effects on community (or wild celebratory yahoo-ing) but rather a coming together on a shared topic, the show opens up for an anything-goes conversation. Much like Las Vegas, a city that creates potential for what Dickensheets calls “strange recombinations, new ideas and new cultural opportunities.”

Transient Landscapes Through May 29; Monday-Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Nevada Humanities Program Gallery, 1017 S. 1st St. #190, 702-800-4670. Opening reception/curator’s talk April 2, 6-9 p.m.

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