Cosmopolitan features artwork made of plastic room keys

Plastic room keys aren’t exactly a surprising sight in a Strip resort.

Unless, of course, they’re hanging on a wall.

That’s exactly the case at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, where a second-level hallway — next to the Boulevard Tower’s Monogram gift store — is now home to an art installation created from plastic room keys.

From a distance, the 9-by-9-foot image looks like a painting of a seated woman, created in blacks and grays.

Up close, however, the artist’s medium becomes clearer: more than 3,000 room keys, arrayed in multidimensional rows and suspended from hundreds of feet of copper wire.

Before Las Vegas artist Mallory Dawn completed the installation, she thought the Cosmopolitan piece would be the first in a series at hotels around the world.

After finishing the Cosmopolitan version, however, she’s not so sure.

“This will likely be a one-off,” she predicts. “It will not happen again.”

Not after the six weeks it took Dawn to create the piece in a warehouse — an un-air-conditioned warehouse near McCarran International Airport — during Las Vegas’ traditional triple-digit summer temperatures.

“You can’t do murals, because in the summer the paint dries on the brush” before the brush reaches the canvas, she explains. And “I couldn’t use any resins,” because resins need to cure at a specific temperature” — lower than the temperatures in Las Vegas. “I was really limited to what materials would work in the heat.”

Working with the plastic room keys, “there was a lot of trial and error,” she says. “It took every minute of every day,” including hand-punching holes in each card so she could string them together with copper wire.

After Dawn completed her piece, it took several more weeks for Cosmopolitan officials to construct a protective cover for the “very public, very open space” Dawn’s installation calls home, according to Tom Evans, the casino’s chief marketing officer.

“Having all the keys hand-stitched, we knew how delicate it is,” Evans says, adding that the cover ensures “what’s created in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

Although Dawn has created a mural and curated other artworks at the hotel’s corporate office, along with visuals for casino shops and restaurants, officials were “looking for opportunities for her to do something” at The Cosmopolitan, Evans notes.

So the artist and her employers began walking the property, looking for a place to showcase her art.

Dawn had been “working with patterns — and what patterns mean for culture, how they connect people with their culture,” she recalls. So she suggested, ” ‘I would love to do a piece with key cards, maybe semi-three-dimensional.’ “

With more than 600 artworks in the corporate collection, “you would think we’ve seen and done everything,” Evans says. “But not key cards.” The response? “Wow, is that relevant. It’s unique and will stand out in its way.”

It was also extremely convenient, considering that the Cosmopolitan was planning to switch key card designs — and therefore had plenty of old-style cards sitting in a warehouse, just waiting for Dawn to transform them into an artwork she jokingly calls “I Guess This Got Finished.”

But seriously, her installation does have an official title: “The Identity of Indiscernibles,” referring to the philosophical principle that no two things exactly resemble each other.

“Even if the objects look the same, their properties make them different,” according to the artist. It’s an apt description for an artwork featuring three different key card designs. (Initially, Dawn planned to use key cards from different hotels; she’s been collecting them for some time and has about a thousand, including those her friends have sent her).

Cosmopolitan officials “really gave me a lot of freedom” to create the installation, she says. “Unlike a mural, where people see you progressing, you can’t show anybody” the work-in-progress process of creation, she notes. And now that Dawn’s work is on display, “it feels good to invoke curiosity in people.”

Contact Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like