The Arts


Many public buildings in the United States have cornerstones featuring the date as well as an "AL" followed by a number. The AL is the abbreviation of the Latin words anno Lucis, meaning "in the year of light." It is similar to the AD, which means anno Domini or "in the year of the Lord."

Control Tower - A Sculpture by Peter Shire

Best known for his innovative work in ceramics, Peter Shire (b. 1947) is represented in Nevada by the sculpture Control Tower. Originally commissioned by the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, the sculpture was situated in the central staircase, rising from the ground floor to the main departure area. During a major renovation of the space, the artwork was put into storage. Whimsical and colorful, it was installed in 2001 at the entrance to KNPR’s Donald W.

Contemporary Las Vegas Poets

Southern Nevada is home to many poets writing today. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas hosts an M.F.A. program for poetry and fiction writing and has hosted many contemporary poets through the years, including Seamus Heaney, Toni Morrison, and Robert Creeley. The city has also featured many local slam poetry events. In addition, every public library in Clark County hosts writing workshops where poetry is written. Still, every culture has methods and means for judging taste and style in poetry, and libraries are full of books with poets such as William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, etc.

Contemporary Great Basin Basketmakers

For the native people of the Great Basin, weaving carries both historical and contemporary significance. In their past, the Shoshone, Paiute, and Washoe people practiced a way of life based in part on the seasonal harvest of wild plant resources, and weaving provided most of their tools used to harvest, prepare, and store these foods. As Euro-American people moved west into the lands of the Great Basin Indian people, ways of life were forced to change. Although native people adopted many Euro-American goods, weaving baskets endured as a symbol of native identity and artistic expression.

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

Visitors to the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) are sometimes puzzled by the black column on the plaza between Judy Bayley Theatre and Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. Closer inspection reveals an almost four-story-high variation on the classic mid-twentieth century ribbed, rubberized Rayovac flashlight. Indeed, it is Flashlight by Claes Oldenburg (b. Sweden, 1929) and Coosje van Bruggen (b. Netherlands, 1942), commissioned in 1978 and installed in 1981.

Churchill County's Shoe Tree

For many decades, a seventy-foot-tall cottonwood tree, known by travelers and locals alike as the Shoe Tree, could be found at a dusty roadside pull-off, just beyond the old Pony Express stop at Middlegate Station. It was on the north side of U.S. Highway 50, approximately sixty miles east of Fallon. Shoe trees are scattered throughout the West and are the subject of local folklore, but none stood more majestically than this one on Highway 50.

Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder

Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder (1920-1989) was a Creek tribal name that Oklahoma-born Frank Van Zant adopted after he arrived in Nevada in 1968. In the years that followed, Chief Thunder and many kindred spirits worked to create Thunder Mountain, a mixed-media collection of buildings and sculpture along a stretch of Interstate 80 between Lovelock and Winnemucca, Nevada.

Charles F. Cutts

Charles F. Cutts was a major force behind the Nevada Art Gallery. Born in Wakefield, New Hampshire in 1871, Cutts came to Nevada in 1891. He had been educated at Packard College, an early commercial business school founded in New York City in 1858 on the upper floors of the famed Cooper Union Building. Cutts settled in Carson City and ran a successful dry goods store on Carson Street for over twenty-five years. Married in 1897 to Bertha L. Meyers, he was widowed only seven years later.

Casino, The Movie

Casino is a Martin Scorsese feature film based on mob operations at a Las Vegas casino.

Casino Stories

Everyone who leaves a casino has a story to tell, and, for better or worse, little or no hesitation about sharing it. Casinos are, after all, our society's great equalizer. All who enter this realm of gambling and entertainment, who search for that "one big score" or merely one fleeting moment of escape from the drudgery of daily life, are offered the same chance at success—or failure.


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