Compiled by Debbie Hall
Lego people, Bliss Dance, Shade Structures and Painting at The Park add to the glitz
When The Park opened, it was envisioned as more than Las Vegas’ newest outdoor dining and entertainment district. Another element, art, was added on the Las Vegas Strip to be enjoyed by visitors and residents. The Park is a celebration of the arts on the Las Vegas Strip. While fine art has had a home on Las Vegas Boulevard in recent years, The Park is exploring a new artistic direction with the emergence of street art on The Strip for the first time, in addition to Burning Man creations, local musicians, dancers and one-of-a-kind artistic structures.
Bliss Dance Stands Tall, a breathtaking 40-foot-tall sculpture of a woman dancing with complete abandon, was the first piece to be displayed. Bliss Dance, created by artist Marco Cochrane for Burning Man in 2010, now has a permanent home in the Nevada desert as a centerpiece of The Park. This stunning work of art is unique not only in its form, but in its message to end violence against women. The sculpture took 10,000 man-hours to create and weighs 7,500 pounds, but achieves lightness and momentum through ingenious structural engineering including 2,000 feet of stainless steel mesh that outlines the curves of her body in motion. Glimmering beneath the sun by day and illuminated by 3,000 LED lights by night, Bliss Dance is a visual spectacle that portrays the inner confidence and uninhibited expression of its subject.
Park People, crafted entirely from LEGO bricks, is nine large-scale, brightly colored monochromatic human figures elegantly situated on wooden benches and thoughtfully placed throughout the outdoor space. Kids young and old are invited to sit next to these “secret keepers” and have a chat, make a connection and take pictures with their new LEGO friends.
“One of my primary goals as an artist is to make art as accessible as possible, so it was time to conceive a new collection for the outdoors,” said Sawaya. “It’s only fitting that we bring Park People to The Park. I hope locals and visitors will sit for a bit.”
“The versatile open-air space of The Park allows us to offer a variety of fun and fresh experiences so guests have something new to discover each time they return,” said Don Thrasher, president of Park District Holdings. “Park People is a playful installation and we look forward to seeing how our visitors interact with these unique pieces.”
Constructed by renowned artist Nathan Sawaya; he was a former corporate lawyer in his previous career. He now inspires people around the world with his art for more than a decade. Sawaya’s art has toured the world, but this is the first time Sawaya will be displaying his work in Las Vegas and Park People will be on display at The Park until Dec. 30.
Art to Look Up To is the one-of-a-kind shade structures created for The Park. The pieces are stunning art installations created with shipbuilding technology by Netherlands-based design firm IHC Studio Metalix and outfitted with thousands of LED lights that, after dark, change every 15 minutes as a visual chime. The vibrant, bright red shade structures rise 55 feet to 75 feet and are peppered with perforations designed to cast artful shadows on the ground by day and night.
Feeling artistic? Painting in The Park is a lively event fusing painting, music, dining and drinking. Guests enjoy step-by-step painting instruction to create artworks in a specific theme while socializing and enjoying live music. Set up in two locations near the 100-foot-long water walls at the entrance of The Park and in front of sushi hotspot, Sake Rok, guests can soak in the surrounding landscape while working on their masterpieces. For $25, painters receive art supplies and the opportunity to take their artwork home that night. Get the chance to bring out the inner artist the last Wednesday of every month from 6 to 9 p.m.
An eclectic blend of restaurants, bars and entertainment tucked into rich desert landscaping, The Park is a central gathering place on The Strip’s west side connecting New York-New York and Monte Carlo as well as the new 20,000-seat world-class T-Mobile Arena. Visitors can enjoy exciting restaurants such as the Californian waffle house Bruxie, burger joint Shake Shack, California Pizza Kitchen or Sake Rok. Beverage enthusiasts can indulge in spirits and beers at Beerhaus, a beer garden showcasing sustainably raised farm-to-table meats, an impressive craft beer list, live music and social games. Designed with sustainability in mind, The Park’s restaurant corridor recently earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. For more information, visit theparkvegas.com.
Photography by Bliss Dance by Night by Barry Toranto Water Wall, Shade Structures and Desert Landscaping by Francis and Francis