The chronicle of the death of Las Vegas’s Contemporary art scene might sound like something written by Thomas Pynchon. But over the last few months, with the closing of the Las Vegas Art Museum and the shelving of plans for a private museum of Contemporary art, any departure has become the sign of depletion.
Of course, Las Vegas has been severely hampered by the collapse of the credit economy. On one side it was the beneficiary of a boom in travel and luxury spending; on the other, it was one of the white-hot centers of the real estate bubble. So the departure of gallerist Naomi Arin for Laguna Beach may be less a commentary on the city’s famously shallow culture than an economic barometer. There’s no money in Vegas any more.
Here’s Libby Lumpkin, former director of the defunct museum talking to the the Las Vegas Sun about Arin’s gallery closing:
“Naomi’s gallery was a real great asset and a great place for collectors to start serious collections. Gallerists don’t get the credit they deserve. The presence of sophisticated contemporary art galleries put Los Angeles on the map, more so than its art museums.”
Arin opened Dust Gallery in the Arts Factory in 2003 with Jerry Misko. She moved the gallery to Main Street a year later and to the space in SoHo Lofts on Las Vegas Boulevard at Hoover Avenue in 2008. At that time, she changed the gallery’s name, merged it with her consulting and advisory service and switched its hours to appointment only.
Her gallery, which focuses exclusively on innovative fine art, likely will stand out from other galleries in Laguna Beach. And Arin says the market there is better.
Two Big Departures from the Local Art Scene (Las Vegas Sun)