Few would think of Las Vegas as a city of art, but there are a ton of top-notch galleries and museums both on and off the Strip. Those looking for a few hours of quiet reflection in between hitting the slot machines and Cirque du Soleil shows will find solace at any of these five galleries and museums.
Ashley Burnett is a writer whose work has also appeared on The Billfold and The Toast.
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Located on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus, the Barrick Museum features rotating exhibitions of everything from contemporary paintings to glass work to Ansel Adams' legendary collection of photography. Its well-curated collections and fun, hip vibe make it the perfect place to escape to for an hour or two. Admission is also free—perfect if you've been dealt a losing hand on the Strip. Be sure to check out its affiliated art gallery, which showcases work from UNLV students.
Photo courtesy of Barrick Museum
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Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
If you've ever passed through the elegant interiors of the Bellagio, it's probably no surprise that their art gallery is just as stylish. Despite being rather small, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art features a ton of work by some of the most famous names in art; past exhibitions include visionaries like Picasso and Warhol.
Photo courtesy of Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
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Contemporary Arts Center
The Contemporary Arts Center began nearly 25 years ago and is the brainchild of the students and faculty of the UNLV Department of Fine Arts. It has since become a force in the Las Vegas art community and constantly shows impressive work from a diverse array of avant-garde artists, in addition to hosting great lectures, workshops and competitions. If you have even the smallest semblance of interest in art, the Contemporary Arts Center is an absolute must-see.
Photo courtesy of Contemporary Arts Center
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The Origen Museum is located within the Springs Preserve, a dedicated space where visitors and locals can learn about Nevada's history. The Origen Museum has 75 permanent exhibits, a rotating exhibit space and an indoor theater dedicated to showcasing work from local artists that captures the stunning desert landscapes of Nevada and its regional history. While you're there, make sure to check out the rest of the Springs Preserve, too. Adults can get in for a little less than $19.
Photo courtesy of Origen Museum
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Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art
This nonprofit museum, founded in 2002, encompasses over 20,000 square feet of space and sports a main gallery, a special exhibitions gallery and a small works gallery. In fact, the space is so huge that they often host weddings. Dedicated to showcasing both regional and international artists, there's always something worth checking out at the Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art.
Photo courtesy of Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art