Local artist Brian “Paco” Alvarez is putting together an exhibit based on Beneath the Neon. The exhibit – Beneath the Neon: The Exhibition – will open June 24 at the Arts Factory’s Contemporary Art Collective and run through July 24. The opening reception is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 26.
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LAS VEGAS — The city’s underground flood channels are the background for Matthew O’Brien’s adventures in his book, “Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas.” Now, the channels are also the inspiration for the Contemporary Art Collective’s latest exhibition opening Tuesday, June 24—Beneath the Neon: The Exhibition.
The month-long exhibit provides locals and tourists the ability to explore the underground channels of Las Vegas through the eyes of local artist Brian “Paco” Alvarez, who has recreated the storm drains in the CAC’s gallery using water, gravel and graffiti.
The comprehensive exhibit includes artifacts as well as a video with footage from O’Brien’s adventures in the tunnels, and black-and-white photography from Danny Mollohan.
The grand opening reception is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 26 and the pre-First Friday reception is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 3.
At 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, O’Brien is scheduled to be on hand for a book signing and panel discussion regarding his experiences in the storm drains. Former drain-dweller William Wieland will also be on hand for the discussion.
Armed with a flashlight, tape recorder and expandable baton for protection, O’Brien explored the Las Vegas storm drains for more than four years. He discovered bizarre miscellaneous items, art and architecture and—most interestingly—people. His adventures in this uncharted underworld are chronicled in “Beneath the Neon,” which was published by Huntington Press in June 2007.
Established in 1989, the Contemporary Arts Collective began as an extension of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Department of Fine Arts, providing a venue for students to share ideas, concepts and exhibit their work. In 1993, the CAC became a non-profit organization to further expand the promotion of contemporary art through outstanding exhibitions featuring both local and national artists and educational programs. Located in the heart of 18b— the Las Vegas Arts District. Today, the CAC is dedicated to promoting contemporary art through avant-garde exhibitions and educational programs within the Las Vegas arts community. The CAC is funded in part by the Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Community Foundation, The Arts Factory and benefactors, patrons and CAC members. The CAC is located within the Arts Factory at 101 E. Charleston Blvd., Ste. 101. For membership or additional information, call 702-382-3886 or visit www.lasvegascac.org.