Las Vegas Arts Commission is accepting donated funds for a public art project

City of Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Arts Commission is seeking donations for a public art piece planned as part of the Main Street Improvement Project—not the large artist palette that was mistaken for a sculpture when added as a placeholder on a rendering one year, but a work that will go through a formal selection process.

The city has $145,000 set aside for the art, scheduled to be featured on a triangular-shaped median on Main Street (between Garces and Gass avenues), but the Arts Commission is hoping to see that number matched by private donations.

“The city Arts Commission doesn’t have an unlimited budget,” says Stephen Grogan, chair of the Las Vegas Arts Commission. “If we can get more money we can get a better piece of art.”

A portion of the project’s funding ($45,000) comes from the city’s Municipal Arts Fund and Percent for Arts program, which sets aside 1 percent of capital projects for public art. The other $100,000 comes from the $40 million Main Street Improvement Project, which will turn Main and Commerce Streets into one-ways with bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

Grogan says that donors will not be able to dictate or influence the artwork placed there, that the project will go through the same committee-based selection process as other public artworks. All options for the style and medium will be considered, he says. A call for Clark County artists will go out later this year. (The Arts Commission has also announced that Wisconsin artist Gail Simpson of Actual Size Artworks was selected to design the artist benches slated for Main Street.)

As for the painter's palette mistaken for an artwork on an earlier rendering of the Main Street Improvement Project (causing a minor uproar), it has been replaced with a large red triangle and a white banner that reads “Actual Art to be Determined.”

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Kristen Peterson

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