Las Vegas Arts District, Nevada Arts and Culture, Art and Culture, murals, free public art, mural tour

Nevada Arts & Culture

Art looks good on every state… but in Nevada, it just fits.

So what’s your kind of art? Because, chances are, whatever it is, you’ll find it in Nevada—and not necessarily just where you think. From colorful murals livening up entire neighborhoods and galleries filled with all manner of media to traditional artisan craftery and kinetic public sculptures your kids can climb on to odd-ball objects rising from the desert floor, there certainly is enough eye-catching, camera-hogging art to grace Nevada’s urban districts, small towns, and even natural spaces with an exciting layer of flavor. 

Highlights

  • Basque, American Indian and Cowboy influence on Nevada Arts
  • Open Air Galleries and Arts Districts in the Silver State
  • Mural-Covered City Blocks, Towns and Beyond Burning Man
Get Cultured

What can we say? Nevada’s an inspiring place. Find art that colors your “palate” in every vibrant corner of the Silver State.

The Different Shades of Nevada Arts & Culture

Seeing the Spectrum of Nevada Arts & Culture

Season

All Seasons

Region

State of Nevada

Nevada calls to artists from around the world with its unfenced, anything’s-possible, wide-open spaces to draw inspiration, and, in some cases, use the landscapes as actual canvases themselves. From cobalt blues to raw siennas, there’s no mistaking it, the intensity of color and beauty of the desert is all there. 

But people have been inspired by the Silver State’s grand, 360-degree vistas and swirling spectacular clouds since long before art museums or Burning Man, and our American Indian, buckaroo, and Basque heritage remain woven into the fabric of Nevada art today. For thousands of years, Nevada natives have been handcrafting intricate dolls, ornate beadwork, elegant basketry, and tule duck decoys—parts of our American story that represent Nevada tribal nations in the Smithsonian Institute. Today, hear their voices, dive into their stories, and see examples of American Indian art across the state in museums and galleries, including the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum, the Churchill County Museum & Archives, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum & Visitors Center, Garnet Mercantile, and the Nevada Historical Society.  

Capriolas, J.M. Capriolas Saddels, Custom leatherwork, leather tooling, nevada arts and culture, Nevada maker
Cowboy Arts & Gear Museum
Tule Duck Decoys, American Indian Artisans, Native American Art
Tule Duck Decoys

As for western cowboy art? Nobody does it better than Elko’s Western Folklife Center, headquarters of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which is held each January. Get in on the Gathering to experience—and participate in—poetry readings, live cowboy music, crafts-making workshops, and other traditional Nevada folk art at its purest, then peruse the Wiegand Gallery for its international exhibits, and scour the artsy gift shop for cowboy art from around the West—and world. For sophisticated, 100-year-old leather carvings ranging from belts to saddles, head across the street to the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum, and, before you leave town, be sure to swing through Nevada Northeastern Museum to take in its permanent collection of amazing drawings by legendary buckaroo Will E. James.

Nevada wouldn’t be the Silver State without its Basque art and culture roots, the legacy of which is most often tasted at a handful of Basque boarding houses across northern Nevada. For some artistic flavor, be sure to feast your eyes on Basque art and murals in Elko, Ely, and Gardnerville, at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center, and the National Basque Festival that happens in Elko each summer. 

Nevada Museum of Art, NMA, Nevada Art Museum, Arts and Culture, Nevada Arts

Nevada Fine Arts

The Silver State tends to go big in just about every way it can, and spectacular art museums in Nevada are no exception. Filled with paintings, sculpture, photography exhibits and rotating cultural artifacts, many local galleries are all inspired by Nevada’s rich history and diverse, striking landscapes. The Silver State’s distinctive excellence in arts and cultural vibrance comes to life across the state at countless galleries, theaters and showrooms with the help of the Nevada Arts Council, which ensures art is part of the lives of everyone in Nevada, regardless of whether you’re part of the zip code or just passing through. 

Visual Arts in Nevada

In Vegas, you don’t even have to leave the Strip to experience world class galleries, sure to stimulate the artistic aficionado in all of us. Head for the Bellagio Museum of Fine Art for an immersive, intimate gallery experience with some of the world’s legendary artists, from European impressionists to American pop artists. If you hit the jackpot on the gaming floor, splurge for a Damien Hurst-designed, $100,000-per-night suite at the Palms Casino. A little easier on the wallet, Downtown Las Vegas teems with free public art, from refurbished neon signs to colorful murals, along with fine arts galleries—the Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery and Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art at UNLV’s college campus are some of our faves. You’ll also find the work of Nevada’s earliest artists and makers, with ceramics from Mesoamerican cultures.

Oats Park Arts Center, Churchill County Arts, Fallon Art Museum, Nevada Arts, Nevada Culture, Nevada Art and Culture
Oats Park Art Center

Head up to the wild and western historic town of Virginia City to St. Mary’s Art Center, a premier art gallery and creative space, which supports events, workshops, retreats, a year-round resident artist program, and seven galleries across four floors of an 1876 historical landmark hospital. About an hour east, “class” up your Nevada road trip with Oats Park Arts Center—a historic schoolhouse turned 350-seat performing arts theater in the heart of Fallon. Check out rotating art exhibits in three museum-style galleries, and the Art Bar—a delightfully Old-West-meets-urban cafe. 

Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, Mesquite Arts, Arts and Culture, Nevada Arts and Culture
Mesquite Fine Arts Center & Gallery

Deep-rooted fixtures of the Ely arts scene, the Renaissance Village & Art Bank offers a glimpse into early days in this copper mining town at original homesteads-turned-galleries. Wander through original to Ely structures that have been reimagined, illustrating a melting pot of cultures drawn to this high-desert copper mining bonanza. Just down the street, explore a former bank building that harbors permanent collections and converted vault gallery of for-sale paintings, jewelry, photography, and more.

Saint Mary's Art Center, St. Mary's Art Center, Virginia City Arts, Art Gallery
St. Mary’s Art Center

Contemporary arts thrive in the Reno area at the Nevada Museum of Art. A world-class museum located right between Downtown’s Riverwalk and hip, bustling Midtown, the NMA is the only art museum in Nevada accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, putting it in the same club as The Met in New York and San Francisco’s MoMA. Art-loving Reno visitors should also peruse fine art at Stremmel Gallery, or a little of everything at places like the Artists Co-Op Gallery and the John and Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art at the University of Nevada, one of the first in the state to showcase regional artists. 

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Celebrate your own artistic expression alongside Nevadans in artist-friendly communities at dozens of art festivals across the Silver State. Get in on everything from mural walks and powwows to traditional Basque dancing, broadway shows, month-long art festivals and beyond.

Outside of the metros, the rest of the Silver State boasts dozens of beloved galleries, brimming with local and nationally acclaimed artists, with resident artists in historic spaces. Possibly the un-stuffiest fine art gallery ever, the Mesquite Fine Arts Center is about an hour from Vegas and reps nearly 200 regional artists, with monthly rotating exhibits, lectures and classes. In northeastern Nevada, the heart of Elko’s edgier-than-you-mighta-thunk arts scene hosts an ever-changing, every-wall gallery featuring art of all media at Duncan Littlecreek Gallery & Bar, including from the vivacious Wild Women Artists collective. 

Eureka Opera House, Opera House, Nevada Performing Arts, Performing Arts

Nevada Performing Arts

Nevada’s art scene was born on the stage. Back before regional and nationally acclaimed galleries came into the picture, the arts and culture scene around here was alive in mining-era opera houses throughout the state, in places like Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City and the Eureka Opera House. You can still catch shows there today—and we highly recommend you do, as there’s nothing that compares to taking in live theater adorned with original oil paintings with a balcony view in the old stomping grounds of Mark Twain, European opera singers, and other legends of history.

Pioneer Center, Reno Performing Arts, Performance Arts, Nevada Performing Arts, performing arts nevada

For a more modern taste of theatre in Nevada, head for Reno’s Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. This gold domed 1,500-seat theater is the Biggest Little City’s home for larger theater and orchestral performances, a handful of Nevada broadway shows, and the Reno Philharmonic. For a taste of local theater, check out the area’s oldest performance venue, the Reno Little Theater, and be sure to check out the Bruka Theater, known for classic and original performances with offbeat comedic flair, as well as theater for children. 

After the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas was built, scores of big-time performers and shows added Nevada to their tour dates. Broadway productions, ballet, jazz artists, classical concerts and more pack the house in the state-of-the-art, 200-seat concert hall, including hometown faves the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Nevada Ballet Theater. But the beauty isn’t all just on-stage; sculptures line the lobby, while paintings and other pieces adorn the performance spaces. Another gotta-see-it theatre in Nevada experience lives at the Vegas Theater Company. What started with pop-up shows in parking lots and warehouses has transformed into a resident company at Art Square’s intimate Cockroach Theatre, located in the heart of the burgeoning Las Vegas Arts District—also known as 18b. 

Public Art in the Silver State

Who says all art galleries live indoors? Get a dose of fresh air with some artistic flair at countless avant-garde open-air galleries in stunning natural settings around the Silver State. One of Nevada’s “selfiest” landmarks, be sure to check out Swiss Artist Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains, rising conspicuously from the desert outside Vegas. These seven, 11-story-tall fluorescently-painted rock pillars have a way of standing out against their natural Nevada backdrop. As does the Goldwell Open Air Museum, founded by Belgian artist Albert Szukalski on the outskirts of Beatty and Death Valley National Park. Wander among a ghostly life-sized Last Supper, a 24-foot tall miner (and his trusty penguin), a towering cinder block lady and other outdoor sculptures. 

Car Forest, International Car Forest of the Last Church, Car Forest, Arts and Culture, Open Air Gallery
International Car Forest of the Last Church
Seven Magic Mountains, Free Public Art Nevada, Sculpture Garden
Seven Magic Mountains

Southern Nevada landscapes have inspired artists to pour their lives’ work into making large-scale art pieces come alive. Admire Michael Heizer’s City and Double Negative Earth Art in southeastern Nevada, massive city block-sized installations, which use the land itself as a canvas. Ready to get Weird? Head to the “living ghost town” of Goldfield for Rocket Bob’s “Art Cars” along the main drag, and then to the nearby International Car Forest of the Last Church, a “forest” of cars and vans stacked and sticking out of the earth with ever-evolving paint jobs, thanks to the spray paint visitors are encouraged to bring along. Fans of folk art should hit I-80 to Imlay (west of Winnemucca) for the mysterious Thunder Mountain Monument, a sprawling compound of structures and sculptures made entirely of concrete and debris found along the nearby highway and railroad.

Las Vegas Arts District, Las Vegas Arts, Vegas Arts and Culture, Nevada Arts and Culture

Nevada Arts Districts

With thriving artistic expression that can be felt in every city and town across Nevada, the Silver State’s arts districts reverberate with unmistakable energy, rivaling the public arts scene of major metro areas the world over. From mural-covered city blocks—and entire towns—to electrifying statues and public installations, the Silver State celebrates art walks, mural fests and street art with spirited distinction. 

Welcome to the Vegas your pals never noticed from their bachelor party suite: the Las Vegas Arts District, also known as “18b.” This 18-block neighborhood and community vision is shaping the city’s character with its self-described “cultural explosion” of art galleries, downtown Vegas murals, funky antique shops and boutiques, chic cafes and bars, and a totally fresh, locally-driven flavor—a Nevada bucket-lister for sure. Keep an eye out for immaculately restored retro neon signs that can also be found throughout the downtown area, thanks to the efforts of the folks at the Neon Museum. Also in Vegas, the public art installations at The Crystals at City Center are an easy way to get a taste of artistic imagination. Be sure to check it out when strolling the Strip. 

Elko Mural Tour, Elko Murals, Mural Tour, Nevada Murals

In a town whose nickname is “The City of Murals,” exploring the Ely murals is a no-brainer when exploring the eastern Nevada pallette. Further north, learn about Elko’s rich western culture by taking a walking tour through 51 freshly painted murals—the product of 2019’s Elko Mural Expo—along the Elko Mural Tour. And of course, no Silver State mural quest is complete without a guided or self-guided tour around the hundreds of Reno murals that decorate nearly every brick wall and business in the Midtown and Downtown districts.

Burning Man Art

For a week at the end of each summer, Black Rock City springs to life, and just as quickly, disappears. However, around northwestern Nevada, its spirit never really does. Over the years, many have taken up their rest-of-the-year residencies here, infusing plenty of the event’s verve into public art, museums, shops, galleries, makers’ spaces, events, and more, keeping this rich culture—and even its guiding principles—alive year round… and in turn enriching Nevada’s culture. 

Nevada Art, Burning Man Art, Art and Culture, Vegas Burning Man Art, Burning Man Art in Vegas, Container Park Mantis
Downtown Container Park

Burning Man art is usually on loan from artists and travels throughout the Silver State, so be on the lookout for these larger than life exhibits along your #NVRoadTrip. Downtown Las Vegas is a habitual recruiter of Playa art, which naturally fits amongst the retro neon signs in the Fremont East District. Look for the flame-throwing praying mantis at the Downtown Container Park, and just about every street corner, too.

Reno Believe Sculpture, Believe, Reno Art, Reno Art
Downtown Reno

Along the way to that legendary Playa, Reno is a natural catch all for anyone going to, and returning from Burning Man—luckily, a lot of Burning Man art ends up in the Biggest Little City. Get on a public art walking tour in Reno, that promises hundreds of mural covered walls, Midtown Reno’s thrifty “Burner Boutiques”, the Neon Line District, and interactive sculptures that first debuted in Black Rock City. At the Reno City Plaza pose for a pic with two permanent Burner art installations—like the “Believe” sculpture—and wander amongst more retired Burn sculptures along Fourth Street and throughout downtown.

Don’t be Tardy to the P-ART-Y

You better believe that Nevada knows how to throw one arty party – but don’t take our word for it. Whether you’re traversing our major metros or strolling small-town sidewalks, you’ll find kaleidoscopic murals and awe-inspiring sculptures on your way to hundreds of art galleries, theaters, museums, festivals, and maybe even an opera house or two. Add a dash of neon, a pinch of atomic history, and a sprinkle of extraterrestrial activity, and you’ll be well on your way to whipping up the secret sauce of Silver State culture.

#NVArt

Nevada has a way of shifting your perspective in all the right ways. Feeling inspired? We can’t blame ya. Be sure to tag #TravelNevada and #NVArt to share your experiences with us. If we love your photo, you may find it featured here.

just me & my best friends
Seven Magic Tires
Tires, paint and screws 
2019
Made by @ramirogomezjr and I for #SorryForTheMessUNLV at @unlvmuseum.
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Modeled after Ugo Rondinone’s “Seven Magic Mountains,” Ramiro and I decided to make our version of the colorful stacked boulders with tires in honor of all the llanteras and mecánicos in East and North Las Vegas. Today I installed #SevenMagicTires on 1000 N Nellis right in front of the East Side’s iconic Sunrise Mountain. If you missed them at UNLV stop by now to check it out and if you’re lucky @antojitos_guayabitos will be there serving up some bomb mariscos! Photos by @mikaylawhitmore!

#SevenMagicTires
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🚙 Today’s second road trip takes us to Las Vegas, Nevada! 🇺🇸
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🏆 Big congratulations and souvenir flamingo slippers go to quirk expert justjiggles!👏👏
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🗺 She went in search of quirk at Lyft Art Park and found Phoenicopterus Rex!😃
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(P-Rex measures 40 feet tall x 20 feet long; each 24’ steel leg weighs about 750 pounds. The world’s largest pink flamingo sculpture made its debut at Burning Man in 2017. Jeff Zubkoff is the artist and mastermind behind the project.)
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🌀🚙🌀🚙🌀🚙🌀🚙🌀
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Many thanks, Lexi, for tagging #insearchofquirk to share your fantastic fun find with ISOQ! 🕺💃
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#lasvegas #nevada #roadtripping #roadtrippin #roadtripusa #roadsideamerica #roadtrippers #roadsideattraction #roadsideoddity #roadsideoddities #sightseeing  #touristattraction #explorenevada #travelnevada #exploreusa #travelusa #isoq_justjiggles #isoq_lasvegas #isoq_nevada #bigthings #pinkflamingo #flamingo #burningman #publicart #phoenicopterusrex #lyftartpark #art #sculpture #lawnornament
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UPDATE:
this tree seems to have grown a second rainbow branch.
Took the girls to check out one of the cool new murals that popped up in Ely recently thanks to @jamievincek #morearteverywhere #horsingaround #visitelynevada #familyfun #mural #art #nevadaart #horses  #mountaintown #howtonevada @travelnevada @ponyexpressnevada @nvartscouncil
😱Goldfield The Former Sculpture and Art Car Exhibit😱

This location is kind of a part of the car forest just outside of town, located downtown Goldfield.🚗
These cars are one mans art. 👀🎨
There is a Van, Mustang, Datsun and Volvo. Worth stopping for a few photos and reading about these objects of art.😳

車のアート繋がりで。
ゴールドフィールドという街にある
とある男性の作品。
正直気持ち悪い。😫
怖い💀
そんな言葉も褒め言葉と捉えてくれる事を願う😅


#artcar #mustang #volvo
#GoldfieldNevada #WeirdNevada #junkCar
#goldfield #CarForest # internationalCarFirest# #nevada #OnlyVegas  #vegas #vegasstrong  #lasvegas #staystrong #lasvegaslocals #lasvegasstrong #vegaslife 
#ラスベガス #ラスベガス旅行  #ラスベガス観光 #ラスベガス情報 #ラスベガス在住 #ラスベガス生活  #ネバダ
#アメリカ観光 #アメリカ在住  #車 #アート #ジャンクカー
Little scene of Oak Creek Canyon. Oil on panel, 8x10 
#redrockcanyon #redrock #oakcreekcanyon #nevada #nevadaart #oilpainting #oilonpanel #landscapepainting #painting #oil #panel #summer #8x10
Another b-e-a-utiful morning in Goldfield. 🌄🚗🎨🤩
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📷: @jeffsullivanphotography #TravelNevada #NVArt #FreeRangeArtHighway
Working on some more Nevada magnets.... how do you all like these ones?? #nevada #nevadadesert #cactus #nevadaart #art #create #love
What do you think about this glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, located in the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas?
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Created in 1998, the beautiful artwork consists of 2,000 hand blown glass blossoms, all together weighing about 40,000 lbs.
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The delicate and colorful glass is supported by a 10,000 lb steel armature, and is one of the largest pieces he's ever created. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This popular work of art also cost an estimated 10 million USD at the time it was installed. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It reminds me of a ton of colorful jellyfish on the ceiling.😄
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💯🎨🌺🏨🌻🎰💐🏜️🌸🎐🌊🌼🐙🏜️
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#dalechihuly #bellagiolasvegas #hotellobby #lasvegas #artwork #lasvegasstrip #vegas #visitnevada #lasvegasblvd #vegasbaby #sincity #roadtrippin #casinos #travelblogger #influencer #instagood #vegasvacation #travelawesome #vegashotels #bownglass #vegasgetaway #myvegas #handblownglass #leavingfromla #vegasstrip #travelnevada #nevadadesert #lasvegaslovers #vegasready #travelgram
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