Roll’ translates roller-rink memories into art


Love it or hate it, everyone has a roller-skating story. In CAC’s first pop-up exhibition of 2015, Las Vegas Weekly writer and art curator Kristen Peterson draws memories from artists who have a connection to the disco-y pastime and, in particular, Crystal Palace roller rink on Boulder Highway.

“I chose roller skating, because I like really cheesy, over-the-top Abba-meets-Xanadu-meets-nostalgia. Honestly, that’s the first thing that came into my head,” Peterson says. “This is about people at different stages in their lives reflecting on a sentimental shared experience.”

Exhibiting artists include Shannon Eakins, Justin Favela, Bekah Just, Alisha Kerlin, Jen Kleven, Jerry Misko, Krystal Ramirez, Lance Smith, Mikayla Whitmore, Thomas Willis, Todd VonBastiaans and Abigail Goldman.

Favela and Willis created a sound piece from people calling in and singing the Crystal Palace jingle. VonBastiaans built a lighted sign that blinks rink-related phrases. Kerlin made a field guide to Western roller rinks, based loosely on the Peterson Field Guide to Birds. Misko is hosting a snack bar. And Whitmore (a photographer for Weekly’s parent company Greenspun Media Group), will project video onto a crystal ball. When that light hits the wall, the effect is a mosaic of softball-sized video tiles.

“I loved when the lights would dim and they shined the light on the ball for couples,” Whitmore says. “In fourth grade I was at Crystal Palace for a school field trip, and I was supposed to skate with a boy named Johnny. My dad was chaperoning, and it was getting too late, so just as the couples skate began we had to leave. Someone else danced with Johnny. It was heartbreaking. I was supposed to marry Johnny.”

ROLL February 20, 6-9 p.m. BLVDS House, 509 S. Seventh St.

  • We already have some of the world’s best Instagram backdrops. Adding more is like putting the proverbial hat on a hat.

  • The sensory maestro’s exhibit is remarkable not only for its ambitious range of work but also for its tight conceptual framework.

  • The results are eye-catching and purposeful—geometric watercolors juxtaposed against cut photographs that evoke a sense of longing and urgency.

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