Galleries spread across Las Vegas Strip, delighting fine-art collectors

Art collectors know, when you want to buy some serious art, you go to the big art cities: Chicago; Santa Fe, N.M.; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; New York.

Add Las Vegas, specifically the Strip, to that list, thanks to the opening of several private galleries in recent years.

Last month, Natural Wonders Gallery opened in the Shoppes at Palazzo. In August, Martin Lawrence Gallery opened in the Forum Shops at Caesars. Peter Lik is now in The Venetian and Mandalay Place, while fine art photographer Jeff Mitchum has been at Bellagio for almost a year. He’s even thinking of opening another Strip location.

While the Strip has offered art-viewing opportunities — Wynn Las Vegas, Bellagio, CityCenter and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas are among the hotel-casinos that display fine art — never before have so many retail options been available. Want to buy an Andy Warhol or an Erte? Martin Lawrence Gallery sells both. And more.

Just what is behind this fine art “movement”?

The Strip is, surprisingly, an artist’s ideal location. It has the high volume foot traffic that a successful gallery needs and it has people looking to spend money.

“That’s pretty much a standard within the art world, being around a lot of people where there’s high foot traffic and also having a clientele who are educated about art,” Mitchum says. “One person could walk in and buy an entire body of work from you.”

Martin Lawrence has galleries in nine other tourist destinations, so when it came time to open the 10th, the company wanted to be on the Strip, says Stacie Goulet, gallery director of Martin Lawrence.

It took about three or four years to identify the right space. They counted foot traffic and researched the potential clientele before choosing the Forum Shops.

“We knew we wanted to be in Vegas but a lot goes into picking a location,” Goulet says. “We are very diligent about research and we are really careful about where we go. It has to be a luxury store in a high-volume area. We just wanted to make sure we had the right space, the right concept and that we would attract the people we wanted.”

Apparently, even art in Las Vegas needs a gimmick, because the gallery, at 26,000 square feet, is promoted as the “world’s largest private gallery.” But that doesn’t make it any less serious. The gallery displays about 1,100 pieces of art, many of them by Warhol, Erte, Marc Chagall, Roy Lichtenstein and other famous artists.

Goulet says when new galleries open on the Strip, they’re not necessarily considered competition. All other great art destinations are known for having multiple galleries; people go to those cities to buy art, she adds. The Strip, Goulet says, could become a mecca for art purchasing.

But several galleries feature landscape and nature photography; those could end up competing for the same clientele, she notes.

“You’re looking at, like, nine nature photographers on the Strip. It will be interesting to see how that pans out,” Goulet says.

Robert Park, one of three photographers whose work is featured at Natural Wonders, thinks the art for sale on the Strip is so diverse that no one gallery is in direct competition with another. Their focus is on nature photography with no more than 100 prints for each photo. Park specializes in landscape photography while the other two artists, Art Wolfe and Robert Rotella, are known for their nature and macro flower photography, respectively.

They decided to open their Strip gallery for the same reasons Mitchum and Goulet cite: high volume foot traffic, big spenders.

“The idea was to launch a signature gallery in a high profile city surrounded by high-dollar retail,” Park says. “Why Las Vegas? It’s America’s playground, right? This is where all the greats go. Elvis, Gucci, Versace. This is where all those iconic things are.”

Canadians Perry and Dorothy Dunn have been visiting Las Vegas since the 1980s. While Perry Dunn is a self-described photography hack, he says he is as far from a fine-art collector as one can be. That didn’t stop him from spending $50,000 on a print he saw at a Strip gallery.

Last year, while staying at Bellagio, he and Dorothy visited the Jeff Mitchum Gallery. They bought a photo book for $140 and met Mitchum. He talked about his work and posed with them for a photo. They went back to their room, called their children, then returned to the gallery and purchased a piece from one of Mitchum’s most famous collections, “Third Day.”

The couple didn’t come to Las Vegas intending to collect art, Perry Dunn says. But he considers it money well-spent. And he would spend it again.

“We have three kids, we’d like to leave something behind for them,” says Dunn, who is in the brewpub business. “We didn’t buy it because it may increase in value, but knowing that it may, or that someday we may be able to loan it to a museum, was a big consideration.”

The print resonated with them, Dunn says, and they have since formed a personal relationship with Mitchum. They exchange occasional emails and phone calls.

“I’m not a large gambler, I like to have something concrete in my hand for my money,” he says.

While they had an overall positive experience in Mitchum’s gallery, the Dunns got the hard sell in another Strip gallery. It was an uncomfortable experience, Perry Dunn says, and one that he thinks other tourists experience frequently.

“I find them very interesting,” Dunn says of galleries on the Strip. “They give you the opportunity to explore without leaving Las Vegas. But I think if people are seriously thinking of buying the art, they should not be like us. They should be really educated before they walk into a gallery so that they don’t walk into one and get talked into doing something that they’ll regret. Be fully aware that they’re in the business to make money. I think you should understand and know what you’re buying before parting with your money. “

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564. Follow @StripSonya on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
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)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Life
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Meadows School founding kindergarten teacher retires after 34 years at the school
Linda Verbon, founder of the The Meadows School's kindergarten program and the first faculty member hired at the school, retired in the spring after 34 years at The Meadows. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like