Life is Beautiful Las Vegas Art Installations
Life is Beautiful, Las Vegas’ premier three-day music, art, culinary, and comedy festival has announced the renowned artists who will take over Downtown Las Vegas to create the stunning, inspiring and beautiful backdrop for this year’s festivities. The 2022 art program includes several local Las Vegas artists including Melanin Girl Culture, Cerissa Lopez, KRIE, Pretty Done, and Eric Vozzola, as well as a variety of visiting artists and installations from Abram Santa Cruz, Ashley Ramage, and more.
Curator group Justkids is tackling three exciting projects including a massive 3D mural by master illusion artist from Netherlands Leon Keer; a dreamy full-space takeover by Seattle-based artist Neon Saltwater; and, for the first time in the USA, designer Space Objekt and Reza Hasni will bring a wonderland of lights in a gripping immersive installation.
Since the festival’s inception in 2013, Life is Beautiful has contributed to the beautification of Downtown Las Vegas, turning its streets into an open art museum featuring some of the greatest and most prominent local, national and global artists. This year’s festival will continue to revitalize the Downtown area with new art experiences for the attendees to enjoy, and a fresh perspective for the neighboring community. From live paintings scheduled every day to compelling installations throughout the footprint, there will be plenty to discover all weekend.
Featured artists include:
Abram Santa Cruz
Liquid PXL, led by Abram Santa Cruz, is a Los Angeles-based group of artists, engineers, and friends dedicated to creating fun and large scale interactive art installations. Their first large-scale art project appeared at Burning Man in 2012, followed by their first music festival exhibit at Lucidity in 2013. Since then, they have completed dozens of art installations and have won various awards including the 2016 Global Arts Grant from Burning Man and the 2019 Aquarium of the Pacific Grant. Most recently, Kukulkan’s Portal was awarded the 2020 and 2022 Burning Man Honoraria Grant. Several of their led light installations have been exhibited in light festivals and music festivals around the world.
From an early age, Ashley Ramage always liked making things. At 19, he found a free industrial treadle sewing machine in a dingy London basement flat, which led to a career making small quantities of high-end leather goods for top-end fashion houses and global brands. In 2000, he hit on the idea of designing inflatables and was quickly hooked by the challenge of using sewing, pattern cutting, and design to transform flat surfaces into 3-dimensional forms – with air as the magic ingredient. Since then, his mesmerizing art has appeared at a variety of outdoor events including festivals, concerts, weddings, and more. His work has also been shown at some of the world’s most high-profile buildings, from The Superdome in New Orleans to London’s Albert Hall.
Mathew Rosenblatt has built a revered career as an award-winning leader and visionary in real estate, marketing, events and public art. Featuring motifs of unity and hope, his projects focus on creating a positive tone for the future, with the goal to inspire others to do and be better. His projects are recognized globally, and he brings passion, enthusiasm and a caring approach to every project he is involved with. According to Rosenblatt, “We are all artists, and we can express ourselves in different ways. But our life, at the end of the day, is our biggest sculpture. Each day, we take brush strokes with our actions and mine always start with gratitude and positivity.”
Neon Saltwater is a West-coast multimedia artist currently based in Seattle, Wash. Her work primarily consists of digital environments created with architectural 3-dimensional modeling programs. All imaginary spaces are tied together by a consistent use of light, color, and nostalgic architectural details. While there are often elements referenced from familiar environments, they are contrasted with impossible sunsets, complex color dynamics, and cinematic emotions. Neon Saltwater is heavily inspired by vintage production sets, old magazines and catalogs, and photography. The digital medium has become an outlet to create her own photographs from scratch, depicting places that don’t exist in earth’s tangible world.
In addition to her digital work, she has produced a handful of experiential environments in the form of pop ups, installations, and exhibits with collaborators including Barneys New York. This output recontextualizes her computer generated images into real life. The indescribable lust and joy, conflicting with a sense of angst and melancholy, strives to exist in both mediums and brings you right into the world of Neon Saltwater.
Neon Saltwater is completing a full 360 space takeover of a vintage gas station on Fremont street with a mind-meltingly good installation with dreamy colors and neon lights, creating a fun meta world that you cannot miss.
Space Objekt and Reza Hasni
Founded by Tina Fung and Ash Razaque in 2017, Space Objekt, a Singapore-based designer that is reshaping the understanding of built environments and reimagining spatial experiences. Dedicated to making art accessible to all, Space Objekt redefines spaces with its creativity and dexterity in this new visual language. From small scale props and immersive larger-than-life installations to interior design, they’ve been involved in a wide variety of projects across Asia and Europe, with brands like Summer Well Festival, Gucci, and Adidas.
Reza Hasni is a motion artist and illustrator. Born in Singapore and currently based in Berlin. His work is a contemporary reflection of the world – a collage of his dreams, memories and everyday mystic encounters with life on Earth.
Making their USA premiere with a bang, Space Objekt, in collaboration with Reza Hasni, is bringing all of the lights and colors for a 3D experiential installation.
Cerissa Lopez is a Las Vegas-born and raised, multi-disciplinary and bi-racial artist with extensive work in traditional painting, illustration, murals, graphic design, and photography. She grew up in a creative household, studying various artforms from a very young age. As long as she can remember, she’s had an affinity for science fiction, cyberpunk, nature, classical art and surrealism – which provides recurring inspiration for her work. She has had over 12 years of experience in both painting and graphic design professionally, serving as in-house graphic designer in the music/concert/festival industry and a freelance muralist for several notable clients such as Area 15, Insomniac Events, Clark County School District, and Las Vegas Raiders to name a few.
Krie is a Graffiti Artist born and raised in Las Vegas. He spent part of his childhood in Mexico where he discovered graffiti in his early teens. Once he came back to the United States, he chose to concentrate on his love for graffiti and the streets. He spent his early days teaching himself in every form of art he could and obtaining materials to create his art by any means necessary. The streets were his essential canvas for years, and he felt it was the only form he was able to express himself freely.
Throughout the years, he taught himself how to create through spray paint, acrylics, rollers and brush painting, mural curating, and graphic design. His art crusade almost came to an end when he was shot, shortly after his birthday in 2020. That incident only abetted to conceive new ideas and drove him to create more than ever before.
He is raising two children, created the most successful mural, graffiti art, and graphic design business with his brother in Las Vegas; fully owned and operated by minorities. Krie currently creates murals throughout the country, as well as working with various art educational programs in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, helping to provide urban youth with art education and encouragement he could never receive in school.
Eric Vozzola is a muralist, studio artist, and graphic designer based in his hometown of Las Vegas. Having shown studio work in solo and group shows locally and nationally, Vozzola has created murals and public artworks all over the Las Vegas area, Reno, and Portland, OR. A returning Life is Beautiful artist, Vozzola has created artwork for such clients as Starbucks Corporation, Resorts World Las Vegas, Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Circa Resort & Casino, the City of Las Vegas, Meow Wolf at Area 15, and various private residences and businesses around Las Vegas. Vozzola formerly held a decade-long, agency and in-house graphic design career, with his fine art and mural practice alongside, but left his “9-5” design career in early 2019 to pursue his art career full-time. He has since elevated his professional art practice into a thriving business and a life of purpose, supporting his wife, Kira, and their sons, Sage and Oren, while continuing to offer a vibrant and unique contemporary art style to the world.
Guilherme Lemes, who paints under the name “Eyelien”, is a Brazilian artist who resides currently in Las Vegas. He got his start in the graphic design world working in an agency as a creative director in Goias, Brazil. He currently works independently for businesses as an art director, while also contributing murals throughout the West Coast with the goal of “beautifying places that were once blank with no life and color.” In addition to his graphic design work, he has gained popularity for his colorful murals. Conservation, LGBTQ, and POC-related subjects are a strong part of his work due his life experience and vision for the future.
Leon Keer is the international 3-D illusion phenomenon specializing in anamorphic street art. Examining current issues including environmental concerns and the livability of this world, Keer is constantly aware of the playfulness and beauty of life – versus the degradation around him – a contrast that he expresses and amplifies in his work. His ability of performing as a street painter allows him to share the joy of painting with the public. Though his paintings are often temporary, images of his work have been shared via social media all over the world.
Keer will be transforming a corner wall with an oversized 3D surprise.
A Las Vegas native, Michael Dodson holds a Bachelor of Science, with an emphasis in studio art from Skidmore College in New York. His studies led him to Christie’s Education in New York City, where he earned his master’s degree in contemporary and modern art history, as well as the history of the art market. Before returning to Las Vegas in 2015, Dodson worked with art galleries, auction houses, web-based art galleries and print studios in New York City. Looking to share his passion for art and education, he served as the Artist-in-Residence at Opportunity Village’s New Opportunities for Visionary Arts (NOVA) initiative and at The Rogers Foundation, where he taught art classes to at-risk youth through the Foundation CORE Academy. Dodson currently works as a fine artist and muralist in Las Vegas.
Derek Douglas, known professionally as SNIPT, is a Las Vegas-based artist who has become best known for creating mixed media Pop Art mashups. Having showcased his artwork across the United States since 2013, the body of work created by SNIPT has included mural installations for corporate clients, convention exhibits, interactive music festival installations, and inclusion in several gallery exhibits in both solo and group formats.
Melanin Girl Culture
The talented artist behind Melanin Girl Culture, Anecia Hargrove is a Las Vegas local that finds art in the process of healing and becoming the person she dreams to be. Born in Kansas City, MO and a mother to three boys, she loves creating art featuring women of all skin tones, but especially enjoys showcasing her “melanin sisters” in ways that celebrate beauty and strength.
Elliott & Jessica Demlow
A wife-and-husband duo, Jessica and Elliott Demlow have been engaged with the Las Vegas art scene for years. They’ve worked on multiple mural projects and have assisted in curating events and spaces that showcase a variety of murals and installations. In recent years, Elliott and Jessica have focused on art production management and artist relations, taking extra measures as they work behind the scenes to assist other artists with production of their work. Additionally, they have painted several of their own murals.
Elliott is a multi-dimensional artist in that he consistently works with a wide range of mediums and canvases. Jessica has mainly expressed her art through hairstyling and specifically focused on wigs and hairpieces with Cirque du Soleil and medical focused salons. Together, they venture the land creating, problem-solving, assisting and healing those they work closely with.
Pretty Done is a creative art brand that is based in abstract freestyle pop art. Hand-drawn characters, fonts and design patterns are processed with creative color combinations and bold lines. The artwork is based on positive energy, fun meaningful messages and abstract youthfulness which represents a unique universal language of ideas.
Mila May is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Las Vegas. She has worked on various projects including illustration, public art, murals, and installations. Her style is bright, uplifting and often includes other worldly environments full of whimsical characters.
A fine artist, illustrator, printmaker, designer, muralist, and animator, Travis Jackson has been drawing obsessively since 1985. He is currently working in Las Vegas, and has shown his art at galleries in Las Vegas and various cities along the West Coast. Some of his large-scale mural clients include Level-Up Barcade, The Velveteen Rabbit Bar, Cornish Pasties Bar & Restaurant, Park MGM, and a permanent 4-wall installation at Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart in Area 15. He is also the co-founder/operator of Filthy Little Hands print press (est. 2014). Although his creative medium spectrum may sound quite wide and varied, all of his work is highly stylized, recognizable, whimsical, and at the end of the day, an extension of his all-time favorite hobby – drawing.
Art Poster Contest Winner
Richie Rizo, was born in Pasadena, CA but lived most of his life in Las Vegas. Growing up, he spent countless hours doodling on shoes, watching movies, and skateboarding – which molded the inspiration in everything that he has ever done. Although plenty of his work is illustrative and “pop-art”, he spends lots of time dabbling with other art forms, clothing design, and animation to make sure he never gets too bored. His winning design features a collage and collection of Las Vegas then and now, appreciating how far the city has come while remaining a beautiful treasure.
In addition to eclectic art, this year’s festival will also feature musical performances from Arctic Monkeys, Calvin Harris, Gorillaz, Lorde, Jack Harlow, KYGO, MIGOS, Cage The Elephant, Beach House, and more. Additionally, fans will get to indulge in world-class food offerings, catch hilarious standup sets, and more.