When word got out that the Cosmopolitan plans to replace its P3Studio with a restaurant, the usual gallery-closure lamentations followed, but because of P3’s unique offerings, the news hit with a little heavier thud.
For the past five years, through its partnership with Art Production Fund in New York, P3Studio has brought contemporary artists to Cosmo to interact with the public through their residencies. The program has imported dozens of artists to the space including: Israeli-born Leor Grady, whose site-specific works consider ideas of identity and home; The Bumbys, the anonymous appearance-appraising duo; New York photographer Abby Robinson, who presented a Body Imaging performance/installation complete with a doctor’s office; and New York-based British artist Shantell Martin, who brought her free-association drawing to its walls last month.
Not only had P3 been a landing pad for artists who might not otherwise make stops here, it provided a platform for Las Vegas-based artists who were also part of the residencies—Wendy Kveck, JK Russ and Brent Sommerhauser among them. Las Vegas artist Jesse Cason Smigel is the current artist in residence with his game show performance/ installation, Win, Lose or Have Fun! Artist Mikayla Whitmore (also a Greenspun Media Group photographer) is up next with a November residency on memory based projections. Ending the year is the Kate Gilmore and Franklin Evans residency, Shelf Life (December 9-January 3), in which the New York artists use Las Vegas to create an elaborate installation.
The Cosmopolitan will close the studio at the end of the year to make room for new restaurant Zuma, expected to open in late 2016. The resort plans to continue its digital programming in the lobby and on the exterior marquee, which has featured work by such artists as Laurie Simmons, Yoko Ono, Tracey Emin and David Shrigley.
As for P3Studio, the resort released a statement: “The Cosmopolitan is currently looking at new locations for P3Studio and is committed to its overall art program, which constantly looks to add unique and compelling experiences to enhance the guest experience.”
We hope so. The open-studio residency, designed for artists to work with the public on collaborative projects and experiences, has provided a valuable exchange of ideas and creativity.