by Isabel M. Castro
Downtown Las Vegas was a vibrant celebration of art, color, and creativity poised to take center stage. Life is Beautiful '23, celebrating its 10th anniversary, created a triumphant spectacle of music, art, culinary delights, and performances in September. This 18-block outdoor festival explored art experiences in the land of the beautiful.
A commemorative tribute was given to its founder, Tony Hsieh. Some of the most beloved artists with their latest works were invited back to participate, including Joel Spencer, Nova May, Alexander Sky, Ailene Pasco, Dustin Ybarra, and Nishan Ganimian.
For a decade, JUSTKIDS has curated the art program for the festival, pushing the boundaries of art and technology. Previous world-renowned permanent festival contributors included D*Face, Okuda San Miguel, Vhils, Shepard Fairey, Lakwena, Felipe Pantone, Camille Walala, and Banksy.
Beauty in Diversity—Juneteenth artists to discover included inspiring African-American artists shaping the Vegas scene. Artists participating were Bret Holmes, Shereene Fogenay, Lance L. Smith, Q'shaundra James, SACREDBRED, Kerric Thomas, Roy Thomas, and Joseph (JOEE) Watson,
Meow Wolf: Party in the Suborbs, at the Western, is a miniature town where curiosity leads one to observe the whimsical bind-bending multi-dimensional art while chilling and sipping on refreshing libations.
Life is Beautiful Letters, Eric Vozzola reimagines the iconic Life is Beautiful letters, infusing them with the vibrant colors of the desert, creating a unique and striking display.
Free Aspirin & Tender Sympathy, Jerry Misko, a previous contributor, presented unique paintings and murals. Previous commissioned works include the City of Las Vegas, MTV, and The Cosmopolitan.
Notes to Strangers, London artist Andy Leek is renowned for leaving spontaneous notes of encouragement, hope, and irreverence on streets worldwide. Festivalgoers can hunt town and discover his messages.
The Word on the Street, Los Angeles-based artist Scott Froschauer returns to the festival with his collection of street signs featuring positive affirmations like You are Fire.
Cherry Lake, Neon Saltwater reimagines her digital work, producing vibrant experiential pop-up environments. Her use of light, color, and nostalgic architectural details created captivating experiences.
Container Art by Recycled Propaganda, Izaac Zevalking, known for his graphic exploration of contemporary issues, brings his striking graphic design through his provocative imagery, challenging viewers to confront global history and current affairs.
Mila May, a Ukrainian-born artist, began her journey during the 2020 lockdown in Downtown Las Vegas and painted murals on boarded-up storefronts. Her work was featured in a limited-edition piece created for the Big Dog's Brewing Company.
Pretty Done is a creative brand specializing in abstract, freestyle pop art. Their designs are crafted with bold lines and striking imagery, including painting murals, customized clothing, and immersive experiences.
Color Punch, A world of vibrant, colorful designs, was created by Color Punch; they produced a kaleidoscope of high-level creative projects and memorable visual experiences.
Paint with Care, Jessica and Elliott Demlow have been engaged in the Las Vegas art scene for years. This year, they have curated the works of Carbon Forge Design, Casey Weldon, Conner Graves, F.E.A.T. of Southern Nevada, Future Marker, Gen Jaxx, Loisse Ledres, Madeline Scribbles, Marshall Scheuttle, Mglhrndz, Nico Roussin, Pink House Creation, and Valentin Yordadanov.
In a world where physical presence is limited, Life is Beautiful fully embraced the fusion of art and technology with unforgettable immersive experiences. Without a doubt, it is setting new standards, pushing the boundaries of the imagination, and leaving an indelible mark on the city's cultural landscape equal to no other.
Las Vegas locals are invited to celebrate "Make a Difference Day" on Saturday, Oct. 28, by leaving a lasting mark on a public park. Art lovers of all ages can join Life is Beautiful and the City of Las Vegas at Rotary Park, 901 Hinson St., from noon to 4 p.m. for a Community Paint Day led by Paints With Care, Families for Effective Autism Treatment (F.E.A.T.) of Southern Nevada, and local artist Cory Bennett.
This family event welcomes creatives of all skill levels and will include beginner-friendly painting and gluing activities guided by Las Vegas artists and community members. Incorporating "love letters" written during Life is Beautiful into a soon-to-be-revealed mural by Bennett, participants will have the chance to meet and learn painting techniques from talented local makers.
The new community mural will be officially unveiled on Thursday, Nov. 2, from 1 to 2 p.m. at Rotary Park.
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