The wiffee and I (yes, I call my wife "wiffee"!) ran off to Las Vegas, NV this weekend. I've always wanted to look into the art gallery scene there, and an art trade show, Art Expo Las Vegas 2008 was going on this weekend, too. So it seemed like a good opportunity to answer some questions I've had about whether or not Vegas galleries are a place for an emerging artist like me to make a few $$$.
The Art Expo was sort of fun. They had an area devoted to individual artists who paid something like $2500 to be there (that included a room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino where the Expo was held). I knew one of the artists there who lives in the low desert, but I never heard of the others.
The Expo also featured booths featuring art print publishers, Iris printers (for making one's own Giclee prints) and galleries, most of them from outside the area. Only one publisher carried western/realistic art prints, so I left some information with them.
Afterwards, we made an effort to find some galleries we could visit and, if it seemed to be a good "fit," talk with them about possible representation. Only one problem:
I don't think Las Vegas galleries want you to find them!!!!
Trying to find information about them -- ads, word of mouth, special advertising publications like "Gallery Guide" or "Art Scene" -- seem to be of little interest to this crowd. Maybe the locals know where to find the galleries, but if you're an out-of-towner, try to find one of these galleries. Just try. If you look them up in the phone book and try calling them, you likely will get an answering machine. We did connect with one gallery person over the phone, but after about the first 15 seconds, he hung up on us.
I doubt I'll be approaching any galleries in Las Vegas. I don't think they're really interested in selling art.
The photo is of the Fremont Experience area in the older part of Las Vegas. In the evenings, they put on a sort of gambling-themed light show on the canopy/roof structure. (We also saw a man with a sign warning everyone of God's judgement on those who indulge in gambling and/or sexual diversions. I think we were safe this time).