Art
Meow Wolf's Downtown Las Vegas Art Guide
11 murals and sculptures to see while in Downtown Las Vegas
BY
Ashley Roberts
November 9, 2022

Well…The weather outside is finally cooling off, thanks to The Great 60 MPH Windstorm of 2022. This means two things: we’ll have to go back to baking our cookies in the oven instead of in the car, AND it’s now cool enough to walk around downtown during the day instead of waiting until 11pm. 

Surely, by now, you’re familiar with Downtown Las Vegas. Maybe you’ve visited for Life is Beautiful, maybe you’re a local who knows DTLV is where you find good eats and cheap drinks, or maybe you’ve just been lurking, reading our previous guides, and taking notes for when you finally make it to Vegas. Well, after some extensive research (read: margaritas and a walkabout), we’ve scoped out 11 murals and sculptures that we are truly obsessed with. 

Without further delay and in no particular order…

Let’s start on Fremont Street. You were probably already enticed by the bright lights of long-standing casinos like The Golden Gate (est. 1906) or The El Cortez (est. 1941), but if you’re willing to step off Fremont Street just a little, you’ll be heavily rewarded. 

The first thing you’ll likely run into is Container Park. You’ll know you’re in the right spot when you make direct (borderline sensual?) eye contact with The Mantis. 

The Mantis at Container Park

Artist: Aerospace Engineer Kirk Jellum

Location: On Fremont, between 7th & 8th Street

The photo features a large praying mantis seated on top of a military style, camo-painted, truck. The mantis’ antennae is so large, it cuts off at the top of the image. Just below are people milling about and taking photos. Behind the mantis, a large sign says “Container Park” in pale pink letters.
The Mantis at Container Park

When fully extended, The Mantis is 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide. We recommend visiting in the evening, after sundown, to see The Mantis awakened by a drum circle and breathing fire that’s 6 stories tall. If you’re only in Vegas to make everyone back home jealous, The Mantis is a must. 

And since you’re already at Container Park, why not stay awhile

Eyeball-Catching Crates 

Artist: @C_Lopez_Design & @Without_A_Ruler

Location: On Fremont, between 8th & 9th Street

4 large storage containers sit in an empty, dirt lot. Two of the crates, closer towards the background are painted top to bottom with bright orange, green, blue and white flowers. Towards the foreground are two more containers spray painted black. Over the black, there is another rainbow flower in the top left corner, almost connecting the two art pieces. Next to the flowers is a skeleton, painted several hues of red and blue, wearing a jacket that appears to be melting. They wear large circular framed glasses, a visor hat and a cigarette hangs loosely from their mouth. They have two fingers up on their right hand, a peace sign to passersby. On the other corner of the crate, there’s a large eyeball, in the same red and blue paint peering up at another rainbow flower. Above the flower is a red/blue camera, facing down towards the skeleton as if to take its photo.]
Eyeball-catching crates

Conveniently located just a few steps away from Container Park is this actual container. Previously displayed at the Life is Beautiful festival, it’s now publicly displayed for all to enjoy and makes the perfect backdrop for your DTLV pics. 

Multidisciplinary artist Cerissa Lopez describes this one as “A Little Bit of Gonzo, A Little Bit of Rock-n-roll.” 

We see it. 

Pretty Damn Cool Alley

Artist: @prettydone

Location: On Fremont, between 7th & 8th Street

Pretty Done Art Alley

Pretty Done is a local favorite. Their work is easily recognizable, always playful and immersive, designed to bring a smile to your face, and successful everytime. 

On the same gray wall, but on the other side of the alley, another character makes use of existing windows on the wall. This character wears an orange and green baseball cap, with bubblegum pink arms protruding from either side of the window. One hand is holding a yellow microphone, while the other plays a green and white keyboard. Bright blue squiggly legs are wearing pink and purple shoes with a green checkmark on them. A text box next to the character reads “Play that funky shit.” To the right of this character is a large leg that is bent so that it gets cut off by the image. The leg is pink blue and yellow with various designs up the leg and at the bottom of the wall, the leg is wearing a single rollerblade. To the very left of the image is a smaller painting that reads “Y R U So Beautiful.”
Pretty Done Art Alley

You’ll find them pretty much everywhere around town. Galleries? Sure, but also in the stranger spaces like sandwich shops, alleyways, and even the Omega Mart bathrooms

Voting Rights are Human Rights  

Artist: @ObeyGiant

Location: On Fremont, between 8th & 9th street 

In the center of the photo is a mural of a male presenting person with darker skin. He appears to be wearing a head wrap. To the left of the mural, slightly blurred are trees and a cloudless blue sky
Voting Rights are Human Rights

This one spoke to us so much that we fell down a bit of a rabbit hole revisiting the artist, Shepard Fairey, whose website proudly displays that he’s been “MANUFACTURING QUALITY DISSENT SINCE 1989,” and we became instant fans. We also realized this is just a portion of a larger piece in Milwaukee to emphasize the power of the polls and encourage locals to wield that power. 

One thing we love about street art is the grit; we love the graffiti’d additions that seemingly appear one day out of nowhere, but what has since been covered up on this powerful piece is the reminder that “Voting Rights are Human Rights.” 👏

Big Rig Jig 

Artist: @MikeRossStudio

Location: Fergusons Downtown

Big Rig Jig

Easily one of the most jaw dropping pieces in Downtown Las Vegas, we present to you Big Rig Jig, brought permanently to Vegas by the late Tony Hsieh. 

Created by Brooklyn-based artist Mike Ross, you've probably seen this sculpture at Coachella or Burning Man, but lesser known is the work's commentary on America's unsustainable oil industry. 

Lunch Break. 

While you contemplate the chokehold that the oil industry has on us, why not enjoy a quick bite? 

Fergusons Downtown is more than just a pretty sculpture.

Fergusons Downtown. Photo by Pony Rojo

Mothership Coffee Roasters provides a quick recharge, but if you’ve got time to spare, Peyote’s farm fresh, Latin-inspired fare, and Vegas Test Kitchen, a downtown food hall featuring rotating guest chefs, are both just a few steps away. 

The only rule if you’re going to stick around? Must. Pet. Dogs. 

Once you’re feeling re-energized, we’ll head to the other half of Downtown, the one you may be a little less familiar with. Car/Rideshare, bike, or public transportation are recommended unless you LOVE a walk and don’t mind a few busy intersections! 

The Arts District

large block letters "DTLV" with black and white cartons within each letter
Downtown Las Vegas (affectionately known as DTLV) mural by local Vegas artist Pretty Done

The Las Vegas Arts District truly has it all. 

Thrifting? ✔️

Dive Bars? ✔️

Emo skate shop? ✔️✔️

And in between all of that lies the next beautiful backdrop for your IG photodump. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Created by @Snipt

Located: S Casino Center Blvd & Imperial

Painted in the center of a white walled apartment building, Jean-Michael Basquiat’s portrait spans three stories. He wears wide framed sunglasses, with the words “Technicolor” and “Panavision” in each lens. Held on the tips of each of his thumbs is a crown chain painted in black and white. Under the chain, the large letters “S H A D T L V” are painted in a haphazard font.
Jean-Michel Basquiat

This larger than life mural of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a combination of pasted paper, spray paint, and house paint, spans three stories. 

Little known fact? To make sure it survived 117-degree temperatures, a UV-blocking topcoat was applied to the finished project. 

Greetings from Las Vegas

Created by @GreetingsTour

Located: Main St. & Colorado 

Greetings from Las Vegas

If you travel often across the United States, then these graffiti’d greeting cards are probably not foreign at all! Muralist Victor Ving and photographer Lisa Beggs traveled the states in their RV for 5 years, curating city-specific greeting cards for over 25 states, and are committed to hitting all 50! 

Check out what they’ve created so far!

What a Life, What a Present

Created by: @Thepwoz

Located: Corner of Main St. & Colorado

JOIE DE VIVRE

This greeting comes all the way from France. PWOZ [pronounced proze] is a first-generation French urban artist who started painting walls in the late 1980s, and while he officially attended Parisian architect and interior design school, what he’s seen and learned from the world around him has inspired so much of his work.

This 600 sq. ft. mural took three weeks to create and captures what PWOZ calls “joie de vivre”—the zest for life. 

How Vegas Survived the Pandemic 

Created by @RecycledPropoganda

Located: Imperial & Main St.

Fear of Covid in Las Vegas

Easily one of the funniest murals downtown is Recycled Propaganda’s visual depiction of how some handled the global pandemic.

If the name Recycled Propaganda sounds familiar, or if the work feels like something you’ve seen before, that’s likely because he now has several pieces just outside of Omega Mart, in our newly-vandalized Mega Art Zone.

A wide image of the Mega Art Zone in blacklight. The painted graffiti on the wall glows in the dark with only small recognizable images standing out like an orange peace sign and a bottle of laundry detergent. The words “Make Art, Not War” are faintly visible. Two vending machines holding art are placed next to a row of shopping carts. Behind the carts reads a sign that’s been vandalized to read “Stop Stealing Source”
Mega Art Zone inside Omega Mart

While not quite downtown, this graffiti art is also something to behold, so be sure to grab tickets to Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart while in Vegas, and pick up some travel-sized art from the vending machines before heading home. 

Looking for more suggestions on what to do in Vegas? Bringing the kids and want to make sure all your plans are family-friendly? There’s a guide for that, too! Looking to truly connect with someone perhaps for the first time in months? Our DMs are always open. Find us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Have an Omega Day!

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