If you recognize your favorite local artists’ works popping up on the Las Vegas Strip, make sure to shout “bingo!”
Mobile game developer PlayStudios recruited five Las Vegas artists to help commemorate the launch of its latest app, myVEGAS Bingo.
As part of the collaboration, the artists were invited to apply their interpretations of Las Vegas to the faces of five larger-than-life bingo balls that are now installed at MGM Resorts International properties across the Las Vegas Strip.
“We’re a creative company and we’re committed to the arts, so we thought to partner with the talented local community,” PlayStudios CEO Andrew Pascal says. “The scale really commands attention, and the balls are each so vibrant and interesting. It’s a great way to celebrate the art community and city we love.”
Artists Ryan Brunty, Jerry Misko, Nancy Good, Miguel Rodriguez and Mary Felker worked for about a week in February applying their artistic styles to the bingo spheres.
Felker, who co-owns Hey Maker at Fergusons Downtown, drew upon her dreamy pastel shades to cover her ball in richly textured cactuses.
“The sphere was definitely a new learning experience,” Felker says. “I paint very drippy with, like, a watercolor look. When I saw the ball I was like, ‘OK, here I go.’ ”
Her ball, O70, is on the MGM Grand main lobby adjacent to check-in desks.
“Ever since I was in school studying art, I wanted to bring a piece of the desert landscape to the downtown area and the Strip,” Felker says. “Now I feel like I’m getting to do that.”
Ryan Brunty, the founder of Depressed Monsters, integrated his character Yerman into the design of his bingo ball, at Mandalay Bay near the valet entrance.
“Next year will be the 10-year anniversary of Depressed Monsters,” Brunty says of his street art and mental health advocacy brand. “The pandemic forced me to step back and refocus and feel like a working artist. It’s neat to see how the character is still helping me.”
Brunty says that he did not have a plan for his art before arriving at the studio but chose to draw on the feelings of loneliness he experienced during the past year.
“I will say the curator put together one of the strongest showings of Vegas artists in a long time. You have all the heavy hitters,” Brunty says. “I was born and raised here. It’s cool to see (the sculpture) on the Strip. For them to hire artists from the community for this is a big thing.”
The other spherical sculptures are at The Mirage volcano lagoon, New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge and the Excalibur lobby. The MGM properties are all playable locations within the free-to-play mobile game that offers real-life rewards such as vacations, concerts and cruises.
Following a recent announcement that PlayStudios went public via a definitive merger agreement with Acies Acquisition Corp., PlayStudios may become the first publicly listed mobile games company offering players real-world rewards.