Briefs: Art, dance and family fun



The original was created more than 500 years ago.

But a mold and bronze cast have preserved Leonardo da Vinci's sculpture "Horse and Rider," which is now on display as part of the touring exhibit "da Vinci - The Genius," at The Venetian through Oct. 15.

Da Vinci sculpted a model for a statue - depicting a Renaissance-era military man and his mount - from a block of beeswax. The artist died before completing it, however, and da Vinci's star pupil, Francesco Melzi , inherited the beeswax model. It remained with Melzi's family in Italy until World War II, when it was taken to Switzerland for safekeeping.

Decades later, after da Vinci expert Carlo Pedretti authenticated the beeswax mold as the artist's work, businessman Richard A. Lewis had a mold made of the beeswax model before it deteriorated so bronze casting could be made to preserve da Vinci's work.

"Da Vinci - The Genius" is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at The Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Tickets are $18-$25; call 414-9000 for more information.



They began 10 years ago as a hip-hop dance ensemble.

And the Winchester Star Catchers haven't stopped dancing since, as they demonstrate today at the Winchester Cultural Center.

During their decade of existence, the troupe has performed at a variety of venues, including Disneyland - twice. And their repertoire has expanded beyond hip-hop to include contemporary dance and ballet, with both instructors and students providing choreography.

In addition to offering hip-hop, ballet and contemporary dance classes for performers 3 to 17 years old, this summer's Star Catchers program included an independent study class, designed to bring together experienced dancers 18 and older (former Star Catchers members among them) to work together on a choreographed piece.

They'll present their summer recital at 6 p.m. today at the Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 S. McLeod Drive. Tickets are $7; call 455-7340.

Family fun


The Vegas Valley Book Festival isn't until November, but that doesn't mean the book-related fun has to wait till then.

Not with a trio of kid-friendly, pre-festival events scheduled in the coming weeks.

This weekend at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, a workshop will show participants how to "Create an Artist's Sketchbook," inspired by James Gurey's "Dinotopia" series, using watercolors and sketchbooks.

Workshops, for kids 3-11, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the Natural History Museum, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. North. Workshops are free with paid admission ($10 for adults, $8 for seniors, military and children 12 and over; $5 for kids 3-11 and free for kids 2 and younger); call 384-3466 for more information.

Other pre-festival events include a "Smart Chicks Kick It Tour," featuring seven best-selling young adult authors, Sept. 11 at Reed Whipple Cultural Center, and a "First Lady of Las Vegas" program Sept. 15 at the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park, featuring Carrie Townley Porter, author of "Helen J. Stewart: The First Lady of Las Vegas."



You've seen Barbara and Larry Domsky's dichroic glass sculptures on display at McCarran Airport's new Terminal 3.

But locals can see even more of their work at ArtisticLifestyles , a new Las Vegas contemporary art gallery that opens to the public Monday.

Kinetic wall sculptures feature whirring gears and pistons; multilayered auto paint creates a dimensional candy-apple effect on aluminum.

Among the artists showcased at owner Duane Alexander's new gallery: Jorge Catoni , Chris Greene , Ben Horne , KD Matheson, Dale Mathis, Mikel Patrik , Michael Wardle and Dray Wilmore.

Regular hours at ArtisticLifestyles, located at 2758 S. Highland Drive, Suite B, will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. (Monday's Labor Day debut represents a special holiday unveiling.)

For more information, call 754-3355 or visit the gallery website at

- Carol Cling