Art in Las Vegas

Dear Liza,

Welcoming Statue

Besides seeing a wedding in Las Vegas, we saw art! As I told you yesterday, Chihuly made the glass work for the ceiling of the lobby. Hundreds of other unknown artists and craftsmen and women created statues, carpets, mosaics, ceilings, and even chocolate fountains.

Art Underfoot

Wonderful pieces of art were everywhere, even in small, out of the way corners. These delightfully complex collages, by an artist called Rafferty, were hanging in the part of the lobby where you check your luggage.

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Out of the way collage

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama had an installation called The Infinity Room, but they were booked up past our stay. She had a studio set up next to the Infinity Room, however, where we got to see some of her color palettes and assistants in action.

Kusama’s Studio set-up






Richard MacDonald, a California artist whose work I have admired in Carmel galleries, had an exhibit just outside the O Theater, where the Cirque de Soleil show is being done. His art matches the physicality and perfection of the Cirque show exactly.

Richard MacDonald’s amazing work

And, of course, Picasso. This isn’t just a restaurant named after the painter…there are dozens of his original works hung on the walls! They sort of winked and teased as we walked by, but of course, people were enjoying their own special dinners right in front of them, so we didn’t stare or take pictures. Maybe fabulous art in such a public place isn’t such a great idea… with your eye and mind pulled in different directions, it’s hard to pay proper attention. At an art gallery or museum, you are there to look at art. At the Bellagio, you are seeing art as you pass by…to dinner, to the pool, wherever. The mindset of quiet contemplation is lost.IMG_1940.jpeg

All that being said, I was amazed and impressed at the level of art and artistry shown in the Bellagio. It is still not my type of place, but I have to admire their attention to detail.


Grandma Judy

Las Vegas Adventure

Dear Liza,

Ceiling of Bellagio Lobby by Chihuly

This past weekend, our dear friend Nate got married. He lives in Virginia, she lives in Toronto, Canada, so of course they got married in Las Vegas! Go figure.

We left Portland in drizzling cold Saturday morning, getting to cold but eye-breakingly clear Vegas before lunch. The high desert, with its bare mountains that look like weaponized shards of broken pottery, has a special, fierce beauty. There was snow on the higher mountains, giving a Christmas-y look to things outside. Inside, the decorators took care of things.

In the Conservatory

The city of Las Vegas has about as many full time residents as Portland, but many times the visitor rate…every year, three times as many people come to visit as live there. That’s a lot of coming and going! The airport is exhaustingly full, of people and full of slot machines!

Room for slots but not enough seats!

Once we arrived at the Bellagio, we relaxed in luxury. A huge jetted tub, view of the Strip, and the fountains all made us feel like royalty. We looked pretty spiffy, all dressed up.

Grandpa Nelson and Auntie Bridgett, looking beautiful

Nate’s wedding to his sweet Natalia was held on a terrace by the famous Bellagio fountains, and the happy couple looked wonderful. They had chosen the music and fountain show, Frank Sinatra’s “Fly me to the Moon.” The fountains are impressive in person, but too big to capture in a photo. Once we were inside and the lights came on, I got this shot.img_1945.jpg

The mother of the bride holding the bouquet was traditional…the back drop of Jumbotrons certainly wasn’t. But hey, Vegas, right? And, of course, I didn’t get a single photo of the bride and groom together! There were three full-time photographers, shooting and angling and directing folks, so I know there will BE pictures. I just didn’t get them.

Iconic Vegas Wedding Picture

After eating and drinking too much at the reception at the best restaurant in the city, we slept in and had the longest travel day ever getting home. Mousekin was happy to see us, and we all slept like the dead.

Heading home!

We have discovered some important things.

1. Love makes anything possible.

2. We are not Vegas people.

3. Drink water whenever you can.

4. There’s no place like home.


Grandma Judy