Panel discussion

If you haven’t checked out the exhibit and you want to, July 17 will be a good day to do it. There will be a panel discussion on life, death and art in the storm drains of Las Vegas and the exhibit will be open to the public after the discussion. It will also be a good day to buy the book. The Contemporary Arts Collective will be selling copies for $17, with part of the proceeds going to the CAC. I’ll be around to sign copies, if anyone wants one signed.

More details below:

As part of the month-long Beneath the Neon: The Exhibition, the Contemporary Arts Collective is hosting a panel discussion about life, death and art in the underground flood channels of Las Vegas.

The discussion will be moderated by local artist Brian Paco Alvarez and panelists will include Matthew O’Brien, author of Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas; “Ruckoh,” a graffiti artist who paints in the tunnels; Gary, a pencil-portrait artist who has lived in the tunnels for several years; and Billy, who moved out recently and is transitioning off the streets.

The panel discussion will start at 6 p.m. July 17 at the Arts Factory. After the discussion, Beneath the Neon: The Exhibition will be open to the public and O’Brien will sign copies of his book. Part of the proceeds from book sales will go to the CAC.

Beneath the Neon: The Exhibition provides locals and tourists the ability to explore the underground flood channels of Vegas through the eyes of Alvarez, who re-created the storm drains in the CAC’s gallery using water elements, gravel, debris and graffiti. The comprehensive exhibit includes artifacts, video with footage from O’Brien’s adventures in the tunnels, and black-and-white photography by Danny Mollohan.

Established in 1989, the Contemporary Arts Collective began as an extension of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Department of Fine Arts, providing a venue for students to share ideas, concepts and to exhibit their work. In 1993, the CAC became a nonprofit organization to further expand the promotion of contemporary art through outstanding exhibitions featuring both local and national artists and educational programs. Located in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District, the CAC is dedicated to promoting contemporary art through avant-garde exhibitions and educational programs within the local arts community. The CAC is funded in part by the Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Community Foundation, the Arts Factory and benefactors, patrons and CAC members.

The Contemporary Arts Collective is located in the Arts Factory at 101 E. Charleston Blvd., Ste. 101. For membership or additional information, call 702-382-3886 or visit

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