Community logo by Eric Vozzola: Artist, Designer, Muralist, Desert Dweller.
Live performance in Vegas is an egg frying on the sidewalk. A refreshing, intoxicating tropical desert blend of an all-you-can-eat spectacle, served up by cowboys and clowns. What happens here, happens everywhere!
We asked local artists to describe their home. These sounds, images, recipes, and letters are Las Vegas.
by Brent Holmes: Desert Wierdo, Lonesome Cowboy
Las Vegas facilitators Justin Favela and Wendy Kveck discuss the city, place, and wonder of Las Vegas.
Las Vegas, what are we?
Remember, when I first moved here? I spent my birthday with an expired ID. Even Insert Coins on Fremont St. wouldn’t let me in! There was no alcohol. Just my East Coast friends calling at 9 p.m. my time. Nicole and Joelle, laughing and singing off key…but onto something… Love is so easy to send a homesick girl, especially when she can call no place home.Read the full letter
by Vogue M. Robinson: Teaching Artist. Author. Martina's Grandbaby.
Las Vegas, what are we?
Remember, when I first moved here? I spent my birthday with an expired ID. Even Insert Coins on Fremont St. wouldn’t let me in! There was no alcohol. Just my East Coast friends calling at 9 p.m. my time. Nicole and Joelle, laughing and singing off key…but onto something… Love is so easy to send a homesick girl, especially when she can call no place home.
I said I’d be open to love, so I attempted online dating with honest fervor…then ended up dating White boys. I listened to one confess his love of Black women…how he’d “never go back.” He said satisfying a Black woman built up his ego, “cause, ya know…” I did not address his ignorance, just stopped answering his calls. There was no sex with strangers. Instead, you had wind with aggression to rival my own. You had heat to cook s’mores in solar ovens with my students. You had the perfect job for the part-time poet. You even had the perfect White man whose history and values matched my own.
I moved to the Mojave Desert right before an unexpectedly warm March. I was afraid, but I gambled on this city and on family ties. My sister moved here first and I thought she was nuts. But she found love in the desert. Now, she is Mommy to three little girls! Now, I am Titi! I join them for adventures at Desert Breeze Park. I push them on swing sets and help them climb jungle gyms. I am Titi, and Titi doesn’t care about getting her hair wet at Bill Briare Park.
Thank you for being a place of transformation. Thank you for celebrating my survival. You have become my home. I love you. I love that at midnight I can look up at the sky or down towards the lights and be blinded by your brilliance. You’ve been really good to me. When I moved here, I didn’t know what I would find. Nobody tells the truth about you. Not the full truth. People talk about alcohol, sex with strangers, and gambling. No one told me about the sunrise. No one told me how vast and beautiful the art community was. No one warned me about monsoon season. But I learned.
Looking forward to our future.
This photo essay is comprised of found moments and a few intricately built sets featuring some of the classic food staples in Las Vegas. Despite the city’s steady change, one thing always remained a constant within the 24/7 workday; there was always breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
by Mikayla Whitmore: hold the mayo, thank you