18b, The Las Vegas Arts District
Located north of the Strip and south of the heart of Downtown, the quirky, dynamic Arts District was city-designated 11 years ago, though it began organically before that, and its “18b” name refers to its original 18 designated blocks, which have now expanded. Approximately 20 antiques stores are also in this area. Street art includes ever-changing murals that adorn buildings. First Friday has been going for 13 years and draws a large group each month to enjoy food, performances, and art.
A guided 18b Arts District Tour is available through Las Vegas Pop Culture Tours.
|living street art|
Among the stand-out venues are:
Inside Style 1119 South Main St./Charleston, (702) 399-1100. Across the street from a bail bonds building and Vegas Vape shop, this creative interior design store makes use of the work of artists both local and farther away.
Retro Vegas 1131 S. Main St., (702) 384-2700. Next door, this warehouse antique shop is filled literally to its tin-roof rafters with items such as pink flamingos and colored glass.
Patina 1300 S. Main St., (702) 776-6222. Across the street and down a block, past the Casa Don Juan Mexican restaurant and popular Velveteen Rabbit bar, this antiques shop specializes in the glamourous Hollywood Regency style and features art, bar wear, furniture, and clothing. I especially liked the colorful glass and the leopard-covered furniture. Fragrant soaps from Santa Fe permeate the store, and happy music entertains while you browse. You can also visit their thriving online shop.
The two complexes that are the glue holding the area together are:
The Arts Factory Located within a 50-year-old commercial warehouse, this is the geographic and creative center for the area’s exhibits and events. Many artists have studios here, and some shops sell artworks.
Art Square 1025 S. First St. Composed of three remodeled 1950s buildings, this complex has a small black-box theater, an outdoor art garden, and the colorful Latin-influenced Mingo bar-restaurant.
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers