I DON’T KNOW whether it’s advisable, reasonable, or defensible to enjoy hotel art, but I always try to. By “hotel art” I mean the incidental pieces that dot the walls of hotels’ interstitial spaces and liminal voids — little-used waiting areas, cavernous convention halls, cryptic administrative passages for those with keycards. Enjoying hotel art proposes a different kind of pleasure distinct from that of visiting, say, an art museum, where art is What It’s About and there’s a kind of assumed institutional mandate in place — echoing, maybe, the conditional gravities of church — to operate at a certain level of seriousness.
Hotel art does you no such favors. It throws you back on your own resources and makes you figure it out: How much contemplation should you give to this unlabeled illustration series stretching along this obscure hallway leading to the ballroom?
THIS WAS SATURDAY, and we were wandering around the hushed, plush arteries of The M Resort’s convention wing before the Opera Las Vegas gala. It was hissing rain outside, turning the dramatically windowed resort into a cocoony, velvet-lined submarine. The hotel art — big, almost rustic playing-card illustrations and paintings, swirly ridged panels that might have been furniture, might have been design, might have been art, I don’t know — absorbed the awkward chunk of time we were carrying around, the curse of the compulsively early. The art was unlabeled, therefore more matter of fact as an element of the space, therefore less pronounced as art, therefore even more radically open to interpretation. Hotel art, mute and mysterious, puts interpretive responsibility on you. Hotel art proposes a specific freedom.
Anyway, here are some cool things going on this week.
Monday 9p @ Golden Tiki: Popular instrumental surf band Thee Swank Bastards performs.
Monday 7:30p @ Mom’s Basement: This evening of standup comedy features Kitty Pineapple, Bryan Ross, Hailey Brooks Reynolds, Holly Vandreumel, and Heather Dragulescu.
Tuesday 10p @ The Sand Dollar Lounge: Known for his sharp guitar skills, popular local blues performer Chris Tofield performs blues and soul classics.
Wednesday 9:30P @ Myron’s Cabaret Jazz: The always-lively Composers Showcase — a late-night vamp session for Strip musicians and songmakers — celebrates with a night dedicated to women creators.
Thursday 5p at the Nevada Humanities Gallery: A reception for “Lifting the Veil: Interpretations of Space in the Nevada Landscape” focuses on understanding Nevada as “place.” It features artworks that reveal the Nevada landscape, its vast open spaces, the light, textures, and all elements that swirl around our colorful geology intersecting with the urban environment’s forms and shapes.
Thursday 7p at UNLV: A reading by UNLV alumni Olivia Clare Friedman, the author of three books: a novel titled Here Lies, a short story collection titled Disasters in the First World, and a book of poems titled The 26-Hour Day.
Thursday 7P at Astronomy Aleworks: Bar trivia meets astrophysics at Astronomy on Tap: Universe in a Box. In this event, participants will enjoy brews while hearing about the universe and competing in space-themed trivia, from science to sci-history to sci-fi.
(Pictured: Artwork by Daryl DePry, Spring Mountains, mixed media, on exhibit at “Lifting the Veil”)