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T+L Reports: Art Scene in Las Vegas

Las Vegas finally has a serious arts scene, three miles from the high-wattage museums on the Strip. In the city's old downtown, more than a dozen galleries are taking over storefronts and industrial buildings that date from Vegas's ancient history—the 1950's—and are drawing busloads of young gamblers from the slots. • It all began at the Arts Factory (101-109 E. Charleston Blvd.; 702/676-1111), where Wes Myles, who photographs everything from showgirls to showrooms, opened his studio a few years ago. • The Godt-Cleary Projects (1217 S. Main St.; 702/452-2200), the vast new outpost of the tony gallery on the Strip, puts up major exhibitions. Its Rauschenberg show (January 7- March 12) is currently the talk of the town. • Three walls at the back of Cindy Funkhouser's cluttered antiques shop make up Art@The Funk House (1228 S. Casino Center Blvd.; 702/678-6278), where she displays the works of a different local artist each month. • L.A. transplant Dray has turned his house, cramped with his graffiti-inspired canvases, into Dray's Place (1300 S. Casino Center Blvd.; 702/205-9031). • At Dust Gallery (1221 S. Main St.; 702/880-3878), Vegas-based Carrie Jenkins's paintings pay homage to fashion photography. • Art Z Studio & Gallery (4 E. Charleston Blvd.; 702/878-2433) juxtaposes a welded-steel structure by Jerome Ellis with a stained-glass sculpture by Kathy Hogan. • Classic film posters are reprinted on period presses in the middle of S2 Art Group (1 E. Charleston Blvd.; 702/868-7880). • When you've had your fill, take your appetite to Casa Don Juan (1204 S. Main St.; 702/384-8070; dinner for two $30) for authentic Mexican, another Vegas favorite.
—Peter S. Green

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