Laura Fortune

All the Lights

Laura FortuneComment

August 6

This morning I woke up in a Wal-Mart parking lot for my last time on this trip. 

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Today I drove to Las Vegas.

I’ve never had much of a desire to experience Vegas, but there has always been one spot I have been interested to see. 

I reserved myself a ticket to the Neon Museum.  It is an outdoor museum that houses old hand-painted and handmade neon signs from the old Las Vegas stripe.  It was everything I imagined.   

Seeing all of these national parks and natural beauty has been epic and inspiring, but as my inspiration for my artwork, I am drawn to grime and grit of man-made objects.  To color and humor and shapes and decay, and boy, did this place have it. 

I chose a guided tour that had the sun setting mid-tour, and it was perfect to see the signs in the daylight, twilight, and dark, as the lights came on the signs.

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By 8:30pm, I had done all that I wanted to do in Vegas, so it left the evening open to however it rolled out.  I wanted to find some old dives and crusty ladies glued to the slot machines and some kitschy Americana and a nasty buffet.  I can say I made the most of it.  I found a BINGO hall and a rooftop view.  The crusty old ladies and kitsch Americana were part of simply existing in Vegas.     

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