This summer’s trip to Las Vegas really surprised me. I hadn’t visited since I was 19 and the city changed a lot in that time. Many of the old casinos had been imploded and chic, new properties had opened in their place. I’d read about a number of hip bars and restaurants that opened and the street art scene in Fremont East. Street art is something that I try to incorporate into every trip, so my afternoon exploring the murals behind the casinos was well spent.
The six-block area was redeveloped as a separate neighborhood from the Fremont Entertainment District in 2002. In 2007, even more money was infused into it for the development of pedestrian-friendly streets and local businesses while preserving historic casinos. This is where you’ll find art galleries, coffee shops, and cocktail bars. Nearby casinos like The Gold Spike have become hangouts for their lawn games like bocce and giant Jenga.
Unlike some other street art-heavy neighborhoods around the world, these large-scale murals are produced solely by professionals. You won’t see amateur tags or stencils. Many of these pieces were commissioned by the Life is Beautiful music festival, held every year, and showcase the work of artists like D*Face, Doze Green, and Alexis Diaz. Some are simply art while others promote local businesses.
Among my favorite pieces were the ROA below, whose work I have seen in Miami, London and Atlanta, and the comic-style look of the mural by D*Face. I hardly scratched the surface of the area’s street art before the sun went down. Next time, I’ll be sure to explore further by staying in downtown Las Vegas.