A growing, living entity beyond a building

In downtown Las Vegas, Mark Rowland is creating a living, fluid, thriving art museum. As director of the Metropolitan Gallery of Las Vegas Art Museum for three years, he has contributed to its tremendous growth.

In January, the museum, formerly known as Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art, was rebranded with its new name. Continuing to engage with the community, over nine events have been held since the beginning of the year including lectures, mixers, receptions and art installations.

Cirque du Soleil is partnering with MGLV to showcase Cirque’s performers in art and fashion. Recently, through Cirque’s sponsorship, African dance and fashion was celebrated. Jewish Nevada was recently exhibited to inform and engage about the Jewish community. Chinese contemporary and modern art pieces, part of the modern art movement in Taiwan in the 1960s, will be on display in the next traveling exhibition. The museum, like art, is growing, transforming and reinventing what it represents.

1. Preston Altree, props lead technician for “Michael Jackson ONE,” showcases his animatronics as part of the Cirque du Soleil 12th annual art exhibition, PARADE The Collective, held at MGLV. Photo by Eamon Workman
2. Former Cirque employee, Antonio Drijas, who had been the gigolo in “Zumanity,” created the piece from costume remnants collected over a year’s time. It was displayed at the Cirque du Soleil 12th annual art exhibition, PARADE The Collective, held at MGLV. Photo by Eamon Workman.
3. Castille Ritter and Eric Clark, wardrobe, wig and make-up for “Michael Jackson ONE” showcase their work at the Cirque du Soleil 12th annual art exhibition, PARADE The Collective, held at MGLV. Photo by Eamon Workman.
4. Artist Sharon Gainsburg and Mark Rowland, director of the Metropolitan Gallery of Las Vegas Art Museum. Photo courtesy of MGLV.

“The new wave of museumship is a place of entertainment,” Rowland stated, “Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. We need to embrace the performing arts as well as visual arts. When we bring the arts together, it makes for a wonderful experience which I believe is even stronger than traditional museums.” Another advantage is that it is a private museum so the director and board can control the content.

“We can feature art and do events that might be considered a little off-the-wall and avant-garde but it also keeps it very interesting,” he stated.

One goal of Rowland and the museum is to reach out to Nellis Air Force Base, an integral part of Southern Nevada. “We want to bring in aviation art and reflect the history of the Nellis airmen.”

While community based, the museum also has national ties. According to Rowland, the MGLV works for Southern Nevada, especially downtown. It generates tremendous interest globally and makes the museum a unique place to visit. MGLV features over 20,000 square feet of exhibit area with a main gallery, special exhibitions gallery and small works gallery.

“This has been a dramatic change for the public,” Rowland said. “Our guests have been able to experience a litany of art and events, network and discover others with similar interests.”

Regular hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. To encourage attendance, it is free for everyone, whether local or tourist, to visit the museum on Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.

The Metropolitan Gallery of Las Vegas Art Museum
Neonopolis

450 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV, 89101
702.382.2926 | mglv.org

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