Monday, January 17, 2011

Art in Las Vegas: "Emergy" at the Charleston Heights Arts Center

Before I went to the current exhibit at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, "Emergy" by Maria Michails, I read some intriguing descriptions. The Las Vegas Sun's blurb is representative: "human-powered mechanized rowboat that generates power to a photo gallery." Hmmm. The idea of a rowboat in an exhibit gave me mental images of a large-scale room, but the actual display is small and curved, like a desert slot canyon. The rowboat is stationary, and it links the rower to the display's pictures in a very direct way.

Michails' images are presented on rectangular glass tiles lit from behind. Her photographs of the Strip and Lake Mead capture the beauty of each place, while juxtaposing the hungry lights of the Strip against shots of Lake Mead's "bathtub ring," the visible evidence of its drastically lowered water level. All the pictures aren't lit, however, unless you get in the boat and row to power the lights. Water and electricity are intrinsically linked in the desert: you can't have one without the other.

"Emergy" is on display through February 17. Charleston Heights also hosts plays and concerts, so ask for a program schedule while you're there.
Photography by Terrisa Meeks

Two Weeks Ago in Las Vegas: Snow!

Today the winter weather in Las Vegas is at its best: 70° and sunny. Yesterday at the grocery store, I saw people in tank tops and shorts. Hard to believe that just two weeks ago, this was what it looked like in my backyard. We get snow almost every year in the neighborhood I live in, and I love that it requires no shoveling and makes such pretty pictures.