Las Vegas isn’t just for gambling anymore. Seriously creative artists display their work in galleries, hotels, and outdoor parks along The Strip. Exhibits’ diverse mediums appeal to the masses. It’s free to enjoy and gives the metropolis a bit of panache. Here are a few places I visited on my recent visit to Sin City.
The Park is a beautiful outdoor public space located between Monte Carlo and New York New York casinos. Pedestrians view art exhibits, watch street performers, grab a cocktail, and hang at cafe tables with friends. Exhibitions vary from abstract Frida Kohlo style paintings to life size figures.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel has one of the biggest photo ops on The Strip. California artist, Roark Gourley, designed a Ferrari red, 9-foot stiletto which sits in the casino’s main entry off Las Vegas Boulevard. Originally, the playful sculpture was roped off to the public. Before long the hotel realized this was a piece people wanted to touch. The velvet sashes were removed, a leather insole was added, and cameras have been clicking ever since.
Breathtaking is the only way to describe Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens!
A 50-foot tall atrium bursts with 14,000 square feet of blooms, trees, and whimsical figures. The team of 120 horticulturalists change the display every season — Holiday, Chinese New Year, Spring Celebration, and Harvest which was on display during my visit.
Jean Philippe Patisserie at Aria Resort takes chocolate to an art form. His desserts are as pleasing to the eye as the taste buds. Fondant covered cakes twirl on pedestals like fashion models. One would expect no less from the Chef who’s a Meilleur Ouvrier de France recipient, the most prestigious pastry award in France. In honor of China’s Year of the Monkey, Philippe created an 8 foot tall chocolate scene reminiscent of a story book.
Ingredients are as follows:
The tree: 200 pounds of dark chocolate
The monkeys: carved milk chocolate and rolled fondant
The flowers: white chocolate and candied sugar
The coins: dark chocolate covered with gold dust
And last, but certainly not least, I’d be amiss if I didn’t include the Fountains at Bellagio Hotel. Every 30 minutes aquatic art pirouettes across the lake accompanied by opera, classical, Broadway or pop tunes. More than 1,000 fountains shoot 460 feet into the sky as water undulates to the music. It’s absolutely amazing!