As We See It

In brief: Blackbird Studios closes, more hope for the Huntridge and Shamir’s LGBT accolade

Owner Gina Quaranto inside Blackbird Studios.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

Bye bye, birdie The Arts District will lose another gallery when Blackbird Studios shutters in January. The well-loved Commerce Street space championed emerging artists from Las Vegas and beyond. “Until the very end we stuck to our guns by never selling out,” owner Gina Quaranto wrote on Facebook, “and by curating every show whether the work was from a brand-new talent with no experience (and zero built-in collectors) or showing installation work that was absolutely never ‘sellable.’ We believed in the art and knew it needed to be seen. That was why we started this gallery so long ago, and we held true to that all these years.”

One More Try? Since Huntridge Revival LLC announced it would end its mission to buy and restore the 1940s-era art deco theater on Charleston and Maryland, a new developer, Dapper Companies, purchased three properties in the area and announced plans to eventually buy the theater. “We want to build on all the redevelopment efforts and momentum that have been happening on East Fremont Street and other parts of downtown and extend them to this corner and this neighborhood,” principal J Dapper says. “To us, it isn’t just about the Huntridge Theatre. It’s really about the whole Huntridge neighborhood.”

Head in the clouds? Adding to his growing renown and recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, 21-year-old hometown hero Shamir Bailey racked up another accolade last week, being honored by Out magazine as one of “this year’s most compelling LGBT people.” The magazine lauded him as a “poster child for a new generation of pop star: the post-queer, post-gender, fearlessly original kind. … Bailey’s debut album, Ratchet, presents itself as a celebration of difference without the sloganeering that often accompanies pro-LGBT music.”

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