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Art Square officially open for business

Mustaches float amongst the gathering crowd in the Art Square Sculpture Garden, adding an instant dash of humorous sophistication. It’s the ribbon cutting ceremony for Art Square, and a little pomp and mustache’d circumstance is in order.

“You couldn’t even go around!” exclaims a patron who squeezed through the crowd to enter the Vexed by Design boutique and procure her own mustache-on-a-stick, a promo gift for the evening by Vexed costume designer Brandy Decker. Meanwhile, pink-feathered showgirls promenade in front of Vexed, with one sitting inside the store display window next to a small replica of the 18b Arts District neon sign.

It's standing room only as the sun lowers, the globed vintage street lighting of Art Square flickers to life and Mayor Goodman approaches. “Back when we came here in ’64, it was like, culture? Excuse me?” Goodman says with a chuckle. “This is a group of people that know they are doing something special. We are so proud of you all! And now we’re gonna work on repaving around here.”

The ribbon clipped, proprietor Brett Sperry escorts the mayor away, taking her to visit each of Art Square's businesses, cameras and film crew trailing behind. Midway through the tour, they pause before a blank canvas on an easel. Sperry offers the mayor a squirt gun loaded with paint and they each take aim and fire upon the canvas, spraying red, green and purple. The painting will serve as an abstract record of Art Square's grand opening — and a symbol of the artistic spirit of downtown Las Vegas.