World of Art Showcase brings fine art and its creators to Vegas

"Salome" (2007, oil on canvas) by Nelson Shanks one of the artists appearing at the World of Art Showcase.

Local artist and World of Art Showcase Executive Director Mario Parga is upping the ante for fine arts in Vegas.  He and Jerry’s Artarama COO David Goldstein, are the creators behind the World of Art Showcase making its debut at the Wynn Las Vegas Dec. 20 – 22. The showcase was planned as an annual event, adding to the diverse landscape that visitors can expect find on the Las Vegas Strip.

“There isn’t really anything of this level and size for arts in Las Vegas, so I think the time has come now to move the focus  mostly from the East Coast of America, in terms of fine arts, to now the West as well,” said Parga.

The three-day event features the top artists in the world presenting their original pieces worth more than $40 million. Guests will have a chance to peruse the art, view live demonstrations, meet with artists and enjoy live music and entertainment paired with gourmet food, fine wine and spirits.

“Back in the day, if you wanted a painting by one of the old masters, you’d go to the studio and buy directly from them. That’s kind of what this is,” said Parga.

Today, art purchases are usually made anonymously through an auction, broker or gallery. At this event, serious collectors can meet with famed artists to discuss their work one on one. It also adds authenticity to the experience as collectors will know that they’re purchasing true original pieces of work.

The World of Art Showcase roster includes some of the most important and celebrated painters and sculptors in the world including Swiss surrealist artists H.R. Giger (known for creating the Alien and set pieces for the movie “Alien”), Daniel E. Greene (who will have more than 40 original works for sale and will also conduct a painting demonstration), Wolfgang Widmoser (one of Salvador Dali’s pupils), Nelson Shanks (the greatest living portrait artist and top oil painters working today), Leon Oks, Jota Leal (also set to conduct a live demonstration), Hsin-Yao Tsen, Vladimir Kush, Steve Hanks, Tony Pro, Morpheus Fine-Art Gallery, Cesar Santos and Ben Joyce, to name a few.

“I think that the reason why we have so many significant artists who don’t normally do this kind of thing is the fact that they recognize the cause of the show. The World of Art Showcase isn’t really just about selling artwork. Its cause is very much to try and restore fine art where we feel it rightfully belongs in society,” said Parga.

"Lil II" by H.R. Giger is part of the artist's largest display in the United States in more than 20 years.

Giger’s participation in this event will be the artist’s largest exhibit shown in the United States in more than 20 years. He won an Academy Award for Best Achievement for Visual Effects for his work creating the alien monster and much of the set for the science fiction horror film “Alien.” What most people don’t know is that he has been a well-known artist since the ’60s, specializing in fantastic and surreal pieces.

“At this show, I didn’t want to just focus purely on aliens, although he will have some alien work there, and there’s a lot of it I might add. I wanted to show his entire range so that he gets the recognition he rightfully deserves,” said Parga.

The entire showcase will span more than 70,000 square feet of space located in the Wynn’s ballrooms. Most of the art will be located in two main ballrooms, but several special displays, like Gieger’s, will have their own room.

Another unique inclusion at this event will be a limited number of Leonardo da Vinci bronze castings available for guests to see and purchase. The castings are of da Vinci’s “Horse and Rider.” It’s the only three-dimensional piece of art created by the famed Renaissance artist still in existence. The castings were created from a 500-year-old da Vinci beeswax sculpture that was authenticated by Professor Carlo Pedretti. He’s considered to be the world’s top authority on da Vinci and is also the Chair of Leonardo Studies at UCLA.

The mold is owned by American businessman Richard A. Lewis. He has committed to donating $1 million from the proceeds to the Salvation Army’s substance abuse program.

Along with the aforementioned displays, there is something for everybody at this show. With the number of artists and their works being included in this event, there’s more than 18 hours of viewing at only 20 second per masterpiece. Pieces representing every single genre will be on display from modern to classical realism, and it’s all of the highest quality. Prices range from about $2,000 to more than $1 million.

Even if making a purchase may not be in your budget, the experience is something art fans will have to cherish for a lifetime.

“In reality the arts have helped shape the world as we know it today. They are one of the most important of the humanities, and we just feel that the time has come to spark a new renaissance and introduce very powerful images to the world again,” said Parga.

The World of Art Showcase takes place Dec. 20 – 22 at the Wynn. The event times for all three days are: 9 – 11 a.m. VIP preview, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. open to the public and 7 – 9 p.m. VIP preview. To purchase tickets and for more information about the artists visit here.