Las Vegas Murals
Holly Rae Vaughn
1114 South Casino Center Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
Arts District, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
1131 South Main Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
8 Lives Left
Arts District, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
Fremont Street Murals
Fremont Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
7th Street Murals
7th Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
A Phalanx of Angels Decending at 705
705 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
Tiffany and I one day decided to check out many of the murals that have been appearing throughout Vegas over the past several years. Now there are literally hundreds of different murals that have appeared throughout Vegas with more every month. So, we started on South Casino Center Boulevard outside a place called Vesta. To the right of Vesta, part of the Art District starts in the alleyway there with the right side of the building covered in a mural of beautiful flowers. This mural was done by Holly Rae Vaughn.
After checking out Vaughn's flower mural we continued down the alley deeper into the art district. As we wandered down the alley, turning left at the next alley intersection to head towards California, there were varied murals and graffiti here and there throughout the alley. One of the main murals of note was "Rebel" featuring David Bowie with his iconic red lightning bold over his face. I'm not sure how often the artwork stays here or if it's often done over by other artists. Regardless there was a variety of art along this alley, most of which I could find very little information about.
As you come out of the alley on California, if you turn to the right, you will find a large flamingo mural that is part of the fence and eventually the wall of the store, Retro Vegas. There are several giant flamingo heads along the fence and a full goofy looking, big headed one on a door to the building to the left of that. Retro Vegas is an antique store specializing in mid-century modern furniture, art, and accessories.
Crossing California, the alleyway of the Arts District continues with several more murals. I believe the first three murals on the right are all a result of Meow or Never Cat Cafe, which sadly never ended up opening. It was originally suppose to be both a cat rescue and a coffee shop; I believe a place where you could get coffee and hang out with and adopt cats. Despite it never opening, the alleyway did end up with three cat themed murals along the outer wall of where the cafe was suppose to open.
The first of the three is called "Eight Lives Left" and consists of eight black cats. The mural was finished at the end of November 2018 and is by Rob Reger. Rob Reger is perhaps best known for creating Emily the Strange, a character that shows up in several books and graphic novels, as well as on a clothing line.
The next mural was completed in March 2019 and was painted by Jorge Betancourt Polanco. It's a fun looking cat, juggling some stars, with what looks like legged flying fish. The third mural is by Heather Toledo also known as Heather Bee Thy Name and it depicts a woman with a young big cat sitting on her shoulder.
If you continue down the alley away from the three cat murals you will quickly come to the back of the Buffalo Exchange! One of 51 stores in twenty different states, the Buffalo Exchange is a place where people can buy, sell, and trade recycled clothing, and the first one was started in Arizona back in 1974. Not surprisingly their mural, called the "Way of the Buffalo" in their back alley courtyard has several buffalo, about five, including one being lifted up by balloons. The mural was created by Joe Pagac back in 2014 and it covers all three walls in the area behind the Buffalo Exchange.
Also in the Buffalo Exchange courtyard on a garage door is a pair of wings, I believe from 2013 created by Mowgli Art. I believe there is a second set of wings located elsewhere in Las Vegas installed in 2012.
We left this area of the Arts District proceeding to our next stop, down on Fremont Street, parking around where 10th or 9th street cross it. This is a fun area with quite a bit to see. First you're right near Atomic Liquors if you like bars with history. There's also the Llama themed parking lot, Big Rig Jig, a giant functioning fire hydrant outside a dog daycare and training facility called The Hydrant Club, and to top it off, a giant fire breathing praying mantis outside shops in containers located about a block away. You're also not that far from the infamous covered section of Fremont Street.
There are at least four murals of note here, the first being Kevin Lyons mural installed for Life is Beautiful Urban Art Festival in 2017. The mural shows a bunch of pastel colored furry creatures, plus a snake and some pyramid shaped things. During the festival, Lyons also provided four wood cut outs of some of the characters for people to pose with.
The three other murals include a fifties sci-fi piece, butterflies, and a handgun. The first is a pair of retro fifties sci-fi murals depicting ray guns and atomic energy. They are gray and sit side by side on south 10th street on the side wall of the Kitchen at Atomic next door to Atomic Liquors. The second is a multi-story mural showing a collection of butterflies in a specimen case from France based artist, Mantra. This was installed for the 2019 Life is Beautiful Festival. It can be found on the building to the right of Atomic Liquors, facing the bar. Finally the third mural is D* Face's Peacemaker. Peacemaker is a revolver shooting out the word peace created for the 2015 Life is Beautiful festival. Peacemaker can be found on South 10th Street on one of the walls of the Western. The other side of the Western recently had a mermaid mural placed on it back in January 2020.
Back to the previously mentioned fire breathing praying mantis, it sits outside what's called Container Park. Container Park recently had a bunch of artwork and murals added to the walls around the back of the park. One is of a neon dripping ice cream cone, created by Adam Fujita of Brooklyn, New York. To the left of this mural is another equally beautiful mural with blue and purple butterflies. Further, around the corner, along the back of Container Park, where a train caboose peaks out from behind the wall, artwork of the lower portion of the train caboose has been drawn. And across the street, on what appears to be some sort of apartment complex is a fitting Viva Las Vegas mural featuring a leggy girl in a martini glass in front of several aces.
If you drive down 7th Street, you can find a few more murals in the area. On your left, just past Odgen is a mural by D* Face for the 2013 Life is Beautiful Festival. It depicts a man with a large thought bubble stating, "I gave her my heart and she left me for ...". Continuing down the street, still on your left, and just before you reach Stewart is the Bacardi Art Motel created for the 2019 Life is Beautiful Festival. Finally turning left onto Stewart, before you get to 6th Street you will see on the right ROA's Horned Lizard installed for the 2014 Life is Beautiful Festival. This giant lizard is shooting out a large gout of blood from its eyes.
Lastly we traveled around the corner to Las Vegas Boulevard, crossing 95, right before you get to the Neon Museum, on the left is A Phalanx of Angels Ascending at 705. Installed in the summer of 2019, the building is covered in several blue angels all ascending up towards the sky. The blue angel was originally from the Blue Angel Motel in downtown Las Vegas which was demolished in 2015 after over sixty years. She was taken down in 2017 and for a short while the Blue Angel statue was relocated to the Neon Museum in 2018, around the corner from this mural. The city has now taken possession of her and intends to restore her and erect her somewhere near her original site. James Stanford, who remembers the Blue Angel from his youth, decided to pay homage to the Blue Angel with this impressive art installation.
First Created: 2020-04-26
Last Edited: 2020-04-26