Brett Wesley may not have been at his self-titled gallery when I visited recently, but his enthusiasm was front and center. The former owner of Westwood Studios, a video-game software company, is an avid art collector himself — a Paul Morrison hangs in perpetuity near the stairs, with other pieces of his private collection throughout the building–and he's a big supporter of local talent, placing their works in the offices.
The reception table in the glass- and wood-dominated main area is an exhibit itself, courtesy of Las Vegas-based artist Dale Mathis; almost jelly bean-shaped, its glass top allows a look inside at spinning gears, while the legs appear to be attached to hydraulics and jointed, as if the whole thing were about to walk away. The fact that it's all wood painted to look like metal only enhances the head-shaking effect.
Director Victoria Hart says the gallery has "fit in well with the environment" since opening in October, and this First Friday offers works by Las Vegas-based artist Kristine McCallister (plein aire paintings of the Neon Boneyard) and Indianapolis-based artist Constance Edwards Scopelitis (oil on linens of female figures). There's also a gallery on the second floor, featuring photography by such world-renowned talents as David LaChapelle, Albert Watson and Lawrence Schiller. "When I moved here in 1996, I was disheartened at the arts scene," Hart says. "It has gotten so much better, and we need to let people know what is here now."