Billions of dollars are poured into marketing Las Vegas and defining it to the world. But the real story, as those who live here know, has far more depth than the usual hype. When writers and photographers drop in to share share accounts of our fascinating and peculiar town—occasionally boasting about finding a real city, an “undiscovered” part of Las Vegas—we laugh at their often insulting and inaccurate accounts.
The Las Vegas Arts Commission might change some of this with its new public art project, titled Our Las Vegas an online multimedia effort designed to tell the story of Las Vegas from the perspective of those who live here. Its beta version was launched earlier this year and project coordinators recently opened new digs inside Emergency Arts. Lead photographer and associate producer, native Las Vegan Ginger Bruner, has been uploading images to “The Daily Frame,” a page on the site depicting local characters like Larry the Elvis guy, familiar everyday moments and urban landscapes, particularly Downtown signage and local landmarks silhouetted against magnificent sunsets.
Beyond the Weekly
Directed by Jon Winet, a multimedia artist and professor who’s part of the Intermedia Program at the University of Iowa, the project's backbone will be its focus on the city's creative types—artists, writers, musicians, dancers, designers and photographers. Winet, who lived in Nevada for 30 years and still has ties to the community, says he considers himself a "permanent, albeit extremely part-time, resident of Las Vegas," and the nature of the city drew him to taking on project.
“The city never fails to inspire me. Like New York, Johannesburg and Dubai, when you're there you don't wonder what the more definitive version of it might be," he says. "The embrace of its contradictions has long fueled my creative research and production.”
Another expat, writer and poet Gregory Crosby, will be featured in this month's launch of "60 Seconds With," a monthly audio feature of interviews with Las Vegas writers. Exhibits featuring Las Vegas artists will follow this spring.
Finally, we'll have a portal into our city's soul for the ever-curious outsiders.