Life Is Beautiful festival announces art programming details

Portuguese street artist Vhils’ piece “Go Forth” in Berlin, Germany. Vhils will contribute to the art program at Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas.
Photo: York Berlin/Flickr

Back in 2008, the Andy Warhol Museum and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust commissioned the musical group Dean & Britta to create a live multimedia performance performed to Warhol’s renowned screen tests featuring Lou Reed, Nico, Edie Sedgewick and other regulars at the Factory, a project resulting in a dreamy Velvet Underground-style sound.

The project began touring in 2009 and was turned into a DVD and CD, featuring the soundtrack by Dean Wareham (former frontman for Galaxie 500 and Luna) and Britta Phillips (his wife). Now it arrives at Downtown’s Life Is Beautiful as one of several art events scheduled for the October festival's Interactive Art Programming segment, which also includes a street art program and a showing of Las Vegas artists, curated by art collector and Las Vegas Art Museum president Patrick Duffy.

The street art program, titled Rise Above, is designed to be permanent and will feature a collection of international artists, including Vhils of Portugal, D*Face of the United Kingdom and Aware of Las Vegas. The lineup is set to include posters by Bicicleta Sem Freio of Brazil, known for its colorful pop imagery that incorporates an almost throwback psychedelic style.

Well-known Las Vegas Strip production shows will anchor the theatrical performance piece of the festival's art programming, including six shows from Cirque du Soleil, Absinthe, Human Nature, the Jabbawockeez's Prism, Million Dollar Quartet, Recycled Percussion and Rock of Ages. Snippets of each show will be programmed on Downtown festival stages.

Life Is Beautiful also plans to showcase artists working in Las Vegas, artists who have worked in Las Vegas and those whose work is featured here. Titled The Odyssey and designed to include artists of all backgrounds and educations, an exhibit features works by Wendy Kveck, Catherine Borg, Yasmina Chavez, Adam Morey, Javier Sanchez, William T. Wiley, Eric Tillinghast (whose work is featured at the Discovery Children's Museum) and artists at Opportunity Village's highly successful Art and Enrichment Program.

“Our goal is to create a live urban gallery that is essentially woven into our festival footprint,” festival co-founder Rehan Choudhry said in a press announcement released this morning. “We want to expose our festival-goers to many types of dynamic artistic mediums.

“We are fortunate that Las Vegas is home to many of the world’s greatest performance artists, and inspires much of the world’s great visual art. We are infusing those stunning influences into our festival experience.”

LIfe Is Beautiful Street Art Program

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Kristen Peterson

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