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Art

New York artist Ellen Harvey trades her luck for your good fortune at Cosmo’s P3 Studio

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Ellen Harvey asked visitors to leave their good luck charms in exchange for ones that she made. Then she documented the trade.
Photo: Steve Marcus

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The Good Luck Exchange
Through December 23, 6-11 p.m.
Cosmopolitan’s P3 Studio, 698-7000.

What if you could swap your luck—cash in that rabbit’s foot, horseshoe, favorite number or four-leaf clover—for someone else’s good fortune? Would you?

New York artist Ellen Harvey thought it was a beautiful idea to pass along good fortune and offer a free gift in a city where luck is essential and people are spending money and rolling dice. So for her residency at Cosmopolitan’s P3 Studio, she made 77 bronze good luck charms to give to visitors who strolled in. The only catch? They had to leave behind a charm of their own, exchange their luck for hers. At first, there was suspicion: Why would someone give away art? But it worked. Charms were taken, charms were left, and each trade was documented with a Polaroid photo, leaving behind an archive of mementos on display through December 23.

Exchange Your Luck

“I liked the idea that this small, very generous moment could happen in a place like this,” Harvey says. “One woman took a bronze heart and left behind her birth control pills, because she’s trying to become pregnant. Some people left keys from the very first apartment they paid rent on or gambling chips. Someone left a lucky sock. Some swapped what people left behind. It’s kind of fascinating.”

Those who took an original Harvey charm received a note of authenticity. A display-only edition of bronze charms is up at P3 Studio now, marking the origin of the swapping lineage.

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Kristen Peterson joined the Las Vegas Sun in 1998 as a general assignment reporter. In 2003, she turned her focus ...

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