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.
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.
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.”
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.” 👏
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
The Las Vegas Arts District truly has it all.
Dive Bars? ✔️
Emo skate shop? ✔️✔️
And in between all of that lies the next beautiful backdrop for your IG photodump.
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
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!
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.
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.
While not quite downtown, this graffiti art is also something to behold, so be sure to grab tickets to Meow Wolf’s Omega Martwhile in Vegas, and pick up some travel-sized art from the vending machines before heading home.