There’s a moment in the second episode of Ovation’s new reality show Art Breakers in which architect Brad Friedmutter is in his Shangri-Las Vegas home with wife Kimberly discussing the idea of commissioning works by local artist Brent Sommerhauser. Their inspiration is a sculpture carved from 500 glued-together pencils that had been brought in by Art Breakers’ Miller Gaffney and Carol Lee Brosseau, former sorority sisters-turned-art advisors who’d flown in from LA on a private jet to select works for the Friedmutter home.
In the “Vegas Vibes” episode (which airs October 11, following the show’s October 4 premiere), the Friedmutters emphasize that they want to explore Nevada artists and galleries, among others. For all the trappings of Las Vegas—even this show couldn’t avoid featuring the stars drinking yard-longs on the Strip—this was a brief flickering of the city’s art scene, which also included a trip to the studio and art program at Opportunity Village, and a mention of artist JW Caldwell and Cosmopolitan’s artist-in-residence program.
“Las Vegas has an incredible art scene, and it’s just going to continue to grow,” Gaffney says, mentioning other artists working in the city, including Tim Bavington and Shawn Hummel. “It’s incredible how that has taken off in the past couple of years.”
Art Breakers makes collecting as much—if not more—about financial investment as it is about aesthetics, an industry reality. The whimsical series has been criticized on art sites Hyperallergic and Artnet for the legitimacy of its co-stars (Baylor grads who went on to graduate from Sotheby’s Institute of Art) and their proclamations of being the top art advisors in the country. Still, Gaffney and Brosseau promise to peel back the curtain on the art world while giving exposure to artists around the world.