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CITYCENTER ART COLLECTION

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CityCenter

3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

866-359-7757

website

Free

Daily 24 Hours

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AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A collection of commissioned and acquired art pieces scattered around the CityCenter property. It isn't like a museum, where you go to one location and look at all the pretty pictures. Instead, it's a series of art installations around the resort that you have to seek out.

Where is it?

Scattered around the 66-acre CityCenter on the South Strip.

Is it worth the cost?

It's free so that's good, but you really have to be a fan of art to make it worth your time and effort.

What else do I need to know?

To see it all involves a lot of walking so wear comfortable shoes.

You can pick up a map from the concierge of all the major pieces or you can even download an App for your iPhone.

What's the bottom line?

Art appreciators should not miss this..

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FULL REVIEW

Wandering around the massive 67 acre CityCenter property is more than just a challenge to your feet, it's a challenge to the art lover in all of us.

Throughout the grounds, artwork has been either created or acquired in an effort to elevate CityCenter from more than just a collection of buildings to a museum worth collection of art.

The following is presented as a walking tour that will guide you through the property to the major pieces.

Park in the Aria self-parking garage and enter Aria. As you come into the parking garage lobby you'll see several steel sculptures by artist by Tony Cragg. "Bolt," a 10-foot-high stainless steel sculpture, swirls upward from its narrow base in an imaginative bolt of lightning; "Bent of Mind" gives the illusion of an elegant silhouette of a face, as do many of his other works; and "Untitled" (tall column) presents a smooth, curving dialogue. Cragg has been the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including the Turner Prize (1988), Shakespeare Prize (2001) and Piepenbrock Prize for Sculpture (2002).

Go into the casino and up the escalators to the mezzanine level (follow the signs for the Zarkana theater). Suspended above the promenade is "Feeling Material" by sculptor Antony Gormley. Made of steel and resembling a human form, the piece is designed to convey the physical space it occupies; a still place at the center of an orbiting energy field. Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994 and the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999 and was made an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997.

Continue through the mezzanine level to the escalators that take you to the north valet entrance. Go down two levels (toward Haze nightclub) and outside to see "Vegas" by Jenny Holzer. Created out of LED panels with white diodes, the electronic billboard is 266 feet long that broadcasts words instead of advertisements. These thought-provoking phrases include some from her famous "Truisms" series of broadsheets that were posted around New York City and international proverbs. Holzer's work has been seen in Washington D.C. with her collection, "For the Capitol," which incorporates nighttime projections of quotes by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt about the role of art and culture in American society.

Head back up one level and out the north entrance of Aria to the circular drive between that hotel and Vdara. In the center of it is "Big Edge" by Nancy Rubins. A sculptor and artisan famous for her grandiose works created from salvaged and industrial consumer goods, Rubins created a colorful composition of aluminum rowboats, canoes, and kayaks into a cantilevered structure measuring approximately 57 feet wide and 75 feet long. Each boat was precisely placed according to Rubins' direction based on its color, shape and structural contribution to the whole.

Walk around the circular drive to Vdara and enter via the second set of doors (where the valet parking is located). Behind the check-in desk is "Damascus Gate Variation I" by Frank Stella. Created in 1969 on canvas, measuring 8 x 32 feet, this is part of Stella's "Protractor Series" featuring bold colors in half circles and rings. Recognized for more than 45 years for his contributions to the forms of abstract expressionism, sculpture, and the concept of the shaped canvas, Stella's work has been the subject of several retrospectives in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Proceed past the check-in desk to the main elevator lobby and look up to see "Day for Night, Night for Day" by Peter Wegner. Both walls of the lobby feature giant, colorful frames that appear to be paintings but are really stacked sheets of paper. The artist also created the hanging light sculpture between the two. His work resides in the permanent collections of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

Continue down the main hall a few feet, just opposite Bar Vdara, to see "Lucky Dream" by Robert Rauschenberg. The 14 foot high painting features found images such as a trophy, Asian cranes and tigers, and the Sistine Chapel. Rauschenberg's early works helped open the tracts of Pop Art in 1953 when he began his famous "combines" that incorporated everyday objects as sculptural elements into his work. In 1998, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York had a comprehensive retrospective of the artist's works, including 400 drawings, paintings and limited edition prints. His artwork spiraled up all the main floors of the museum and was touted as the largest retrospective to date for any artist at the Guggenheim.

Take the hallway toward Bellagio and hop on the CityCenter monorail. Take it one stop to the Crystals mall and exit toward Aria. In between the two buildings is "Reclining Connected Forms" a sculpture by English artist Henry Moore, one of the most celebrated sculptors of his time. Inspired by the fundamentals of the human experience - the primary theme of his life's work - the sculpture measures approximately 10 feet tall and 17 feet long by 7 feet deep, represents a baby wrapped in its mother's embrace.

Go back inside Aria through the main entrance and head to the reception desk. Behind it is "Silver River" by celebrated artist Maya Lin, which was inspired by the boundaries and topography of the Colorado River as it carves the desert landscape of the United States. In the spirit of CityCenter's commitment to sustainability and in light of Nevada's standing as "The Silver State," Lin used reclaimed silver to develop her creation. Lin, whose highly acclaimed body of work includes the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., also has become a celebrated architect.

There is more art to be found around CityCenter. For additional information, stop at the concierge desk at Aria for a map or download their iPhone App.

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