The Other Side of Paradise mines the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art’s collection for artworks that reflect perceptions of Las Vegas through the contrasting perspectives of tourist, local, skeptical critic, and cultural anthropologist. The exhibition features work by artists: David Sanchez Burr, Carol Caroompas, Justin Favela, Noelle Garcia, James Gobel, Daniel Habegger, Tom Pfannerstill, Victoria Reynolds, JK Russ, Mikayla Whitmore, Yek, and Brian Zimmerman.
The selections range from a diverse group of works by artists who are born-and-raised Las Vegans, transplants-turned-residents, UNLV Department of Art alumni, and other artists with ties to the Las Vegas art community -- all of whose work in some way speaks to the unique landscape and culture of the city. The title The Other Side of Paradise references the layered notions of “Paradise” beginning with Paradise, Nevada, an unincorporated town in Clark County, adjacent to the city of Las Vegas which contains most of the Las Vegas Strip.
The curators consider Las Vegas through a variety of works; some reflect or counter Las Vegas’s image as both proverbial Paradise and Sin City, others present Las Vegas as a place to live, work and call home. From Justin Favela's inclusionary revisioning of the iconic Stardust hotel/casino sign Estardas and Tom Pfannerstill's ode to the discarded in Pabst Blue Ribbon 12 Pack, to Victoria Reynold’s feminized fleshy vignette Ruban Rouge and Noelle Garcia’s delicate autobiographical beaded Cigarettes, the artists explore place, identity, transformation and power through sculpture, photography, painting, video and Native beadwork.
Curated by Department of Art MFA Candidates Fawn Douglas, John McVay, and Laurence Myers Reese.
About the UNLV College of Fine Arts
Located on the main campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the UNLV College of Fine Arts offers graduate degrees in Art, Architecture, Film, Music, Dance, Theatre, and Entertainment Engineering and Design, a unique discipline that combines engineering with technical theatre training. The College’s facilities include theaters and contemporary art galleries as well as the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art.
About the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art believes everyone deserves access to the arts. Located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Barrick promotes a powerful awareness of the arts through programs of exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and community activities. The Work Shop gallery is a flexible space for meaningful artistic play and research. Admission is free.
About the Department of Art
The Department of Art strives to create a model for professional development in all areas of the arts, design, and relevant histories, to teach the diversity of culture and identity in the US and its democratic values, and to prepare graduates for success in competitive and evolving communities through access to cutting-edge fabrication equipment, new critical and creative contexts, and opportunities for exhibition, publication, discussion, and critique linked with partners in Las Vegas and beyond.
The Other Side of Paradise was curated in conversation with Visiting Assistant Professor Wendy Kveck’s “Las Vegas Seminar.” This Spring’s new course offering in the Department of Art explores Las Vegas as context for contemporary artists, a microcosm of American culture. Group excursions around the valley; visits to UNLV Special Collections and Archives and the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art; and readings about the history, art, and visual culture of Las Vegas will inform discussions and creative research assignments around a variety of themes. From casino scavenger hunts and museum visits to conversations with contemporary artists making work informed by their experience of place, the class will examine the Las Vegas produced for and presented to tourists and Las Vegas, off the Strip.
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is located in the heart of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. The museum is easily accessed from the west side of campus at the intersection of Harmon Avenue and Swenson Street. Drive east on East Harmon Ave until the road enters the campus and terminates in a parking lot. The Museum will be on your right, next to a desert landscape garden.
Visitors may park in metered, staff and student spots free of charge after 7 pm on weekdays, 1 pm on Fridays, and all day Saturday. Daily, weekly, or monthly permits can be purchased from Parking and Transportation Services. Metered parking spaces for visitors can be found in the parking lot outside the Barrick’s entrance, along East Harmon Ave, and in the lot behind the Lied Library. Other metered green zones are available in the Cottage Grove Avenue Parking Garage and parking areas throughout campus.
Image: Noelle Garcia, Cigarettes, 2015, Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art Collection, Gift of the artist