For a transformative experience in art, head to a museum which itself has undergone a major transformation -- The Marjorie Barrick Museum on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus.
Once a natural history museum, the facility currently houses groundbreaking exhibits of contemporary art as well as a rotating display of Pre-Columbian pieces from its own extensive collection.
Founded in 1967, the Marjorie Barrick Museum is part of the university's College of Fine Arts and is housed one of the oldest buildings on the UNLV campus. It was actually the original gym and basketball court for the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. While this is no longer a place for shooting hoops, the museum still uses the original wooden floor of the court.
To reach the museum’s entrance, guests stroll through UNLV’s Xeriscape Garden, a charming collection of drought-tolerant plants from around the globe.
Once inside the museum lobby, return guests will notice some changes. The aquariums full of small reptiles and snakes that once lined the walls have been replaced by art installations and an ArtBar with a wide variety of hands-on activities. Materials are supplied by the museum and also by members of the public who wish to help foster creativity and exploration. Anything created can be taken home or exhibited in the lobby.
The Marjorie Barrick Museum's main exhibit hall layout is reminiscent of world renowned art museums with comfortable benches placed throughout for those who want to sit back, relax and immerse themselves in art. It is an open, airy and inviting setting, even offering Wi-fi so students can study among the artwork.
The museum also houses an auditorium for film screenings and an extensive research library with books on contemporary art, museum studies, and a vast array of texts pertaining to Meso-American art and culture (for use by appointment only).
Additionally, the museum has an exciting, free lecture series, featuring prominent artists and art scholars.