Art Adventures – Episode 01

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Be sure to read the Art Adventures Intro first!

Do you like bunnies and birds? Chickadees and pastels? How about Jesus, springtime, and resurrection?

Welcome to Easter Royale.

Belagio CeilingIt’s a confusing holiday, which means it’s the perfect occasion for discovering art.

Our spirits were aroused, and we were curious to know how Las Vegas chose to hold this day. Which of our dear city’s many bubbles of reality would house an Easter Sunday?  Would we experience judgment for seeking salvation within artificial structures?

We awoke in a lucid dream, heat pouring through the small crack in our car window. The clamor of car horns, and the smell of melting asphalt cascaded through the air in rippling waves as we awkwardly danced in staccato to the careless blinking of brake lights.  The people were out and all around.  They followed us, surrounded us, carried us to the Las Vegas strip and to the famed hotel and casino, Bellagio.

We exited our car disoriented, our disposition slightly maligned by the swarming hordes of humans.  The Bellagio parking lot was a brief relief from the screaming afternoon traffic, and we shared a sour smile as we stretched our legs.

“Are you ready to go inside” my dry voice cracked?

“I’m ready, I think,” she replied.

“It’s going to be a madhouse in there… Before we go in, eat this,” I handed my companion a small piece of bread.  I took a small piece for myself and we chewed in silence.  She sipped from a bottle of white grape juice and then handed it to me.  The juice briefly sparkled a light crystal color in my eye; I exhaled and sipped it down, feeling the sugar coarse through my blood.

Entrance FlorOur dreaming bodies were pushed through the casino’s caves and meandering alleyways of slot machines,high-end retail stores, restaurants, and ersatz statues.  We were chasing salvation from the oppression of knowing we were but an insignificant part of a larger mob.  ‘Why’ echoed in our heads. We pressed forward.

We wanted to know, to feel, that our daily existence is unique, that our lives are not just mirrors for the groups of drooping faces we were passing.  We wanted to connect with a passion deep within ourselves.

Vagrants, perfume assassins, false signs, flyer bandits crowded all around us, crippling our inner-desire to push farther toward our destination. We had unknowingly engaged in a war with the unbeatable enemy that is the ever present throng loitering in every Las Vegas hotel and casino.   

Then, in the distance, past a milling gauntlet of spatially inept Homo sapiens, we saw it.  A far-off glimmer of natural light spilled into the casino, a beacon of truth cutting through oppressive darkness.

Each spring, summer, fall, and winter the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden, a 14,000 square foot Room with a 50 foot tall glass ceiling, is transformed by a number of talented horticulturalists and designers into a breathtaking floral display. The 2016 spring display featured a Japanese theme with shrubs, Ivy, azaleas, begonias, hibiscus, cherry blossom trees Magnolia trees camphor trees, ficus, bamboo, and  over 80 thousand flowers in total.

“This is not reality, but the dream is real now that we’re here, let’s forget to remember we are in the Bellagio. In Las Vegas,” I whispered to my weary comrade.

“I’ve been here before…” she breathed.

We awoke from our shared dream into a world filled with argent representations of nature’s most colloquial harbingers of zest and revival.

Giant FlorWe breathed in a hesitant sigh of relief, and began unpacking our gear.  Japanese flute music played over hidden speakers, the bubbling sound of falling water could be heard with a strained ear, and among the large pools of families, selfie-hungry tourists, and crying children, there were sharp moments where the floral displays could be appreciated.
Renewal washed over us.

Thank you for reading. Part 2 >

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