Neon Museum – for a trip through Vegas history via the art form that they pushed the boundaries of. Best at dusk to see the collection in daylight and when the restored signs come on. Get tickets days in advance if you can.
Pinball Hall of Fame– hundreds of pinball and vintage arcade games that are kept in good-great condition by the volunteer staff. This place is known all over America by pinball officianados. Don’t miss Attack From Mars, my favorite game and Midevel Madness where the voice of the princess is Tina Fey! Admission is free, change machines are available but no ATM.
Barrick Museum of Art – on UNLV campus, this little gem just celebrated a 50 year birthday which is nothing to scoff at in this town. The programming includes Contemporary exhibits, a collection of Precolumbian Mesoamerican artifacts and a lovely desert garden. The staff is fabulous and they offer fun and educational events for adults and children. Free!
The Italian American Club – I played Bocce with these guys for years before I moved and they are the real deal. Stories about working at the Stardust sportsbook, sitting at tables with Sinatra, all the danger and glamour of old Vegas. This seems like a place not open to the public, but it is! The food is really good and the waitresses are so charming. Go on weekends for some classic entertainment.
Clark County Museum – Out on the edge of town, this museum has saved a house from almost every decade since the 20’s and placed them on a charming, tree lined street. You can go in and see the period interiors and the creepy but awesome mannequins. They decorate for every season from the Museum collection keeping it all authentic, photos are allowed but don’t be a jerk about it. Bonus, there are bunnies that live on the property! Admission is cheap.
Erin Stellmon’smixed media works explore the the various landscapes that she resides in, from her birthplace of Portland, OR to her current home of Baltimore, MD, (with New York City and Las Vegas in-between). She works with photography, textiles, painting and drawing to create wall works and installations that speak to the specificity of the history and culture of each city’s changing landscape. A descendant of Oregon Trail pioneers, she is currently investigating a contemporary look at the history of American landscape painting seen through fences and walls that have been figuratively and literally erected throughout our nation’s history and today.
Artists’ Top Five is an ongoing series sharing short lists of artists’ favorite things to do or see in Las Vegas. In some cases, these lists become more nostalgic or idiosyncratic musings about a city we call home.
Title image: Neon Boneyard, Photo by Mikayla Whitmore.