11pm Sunday January 3, 2016 is when the doors of P3Studio at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas closed for the last time. The final residency project titled Shelf Life by New York artists Kate Gilmore and Franklin Evans reminded us that everything has a limited life span. The vibrant installation made from collected objects and images - with contributions by studio visitors - was a rainbow-hued explosion of color. But like a flock of parrots winging through the trees, it was a breath-taking vision for a moment and then gone.
A working art studio in a resort on the Las Vegas Strip is certainly an unusual concept, but since opening in December 2010, The Cosmopolitan has built a reputation for delivering an innovative contemporary art experience for guests. Although many Strip resorts showcase art, the decision to partner with New York's respected Art Production Fund has set The Cosmopolitan apart.
The first partnership project transformed the resort's underground parking levels with commissioned site-specific murals by artists Shepard Fairey, RETNA, Kenny Scharf and Shinique Smith and the PAUSE public art program continues to utilize the property's large-scale LED signs as sites for digital artworks. P3Studio however, was designed to offer an interactive experience for hotel guests, with each month-long project incorporating participatory components.
The residency program has introduced many visiting artists to Las Vegas, and has also featured many local artists, including myself. I have not managed to visit all the month-long residencies, but I have documented quite a few of them, so have collated these end-of-an-era tribute images. The full roster of resident artists can be viewed here.
Although The Cosmopolitan has announced the P3Studio space will be converted into a restaurant due to open late 2016, they are "currently looking at new locations" for the studio. Perhaps future hotel guests may also have the opportunity to contribute their own personal touches to a unique Las Vegas Strip art experience.