Jo Russ, Arts Program Manager
2022 marks the first time that The Neon Museum’s Artist In Residence (AIR) visits Las Vegas for an Introductory Week. 

AIR7 awardee Thomas (Tom) Putzier welcomed the opportunity to explore the museum’s historical sign collection and archives as well as absorbing the spectacular Las Vegas architecture and surrounding desert environment.

TOM01Museum staff welcome Tom Putzier to the Neon Boneyard

Clocking up a lot of miles, Tom walked the length of the Las Vegas Strip, the Arts District and Downtown Fremont St, and traversed desert trails at Red Rock Canyon and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Cultural experiences included visiting MGM’s art collection at Aria, Bellagio Fine Art Gallery, Meow Wolf & Area 15, and the Atomic Saloon show. Tom also attended the DIFY Diaspora reception at UNLV’s Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery and visited the Two Cultures, One Family exhibit at Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art.



Tom had the opportunity to meet a number of arts supporters, artists and curators including The Neon Museum’s AIR7 guest juror, Carmen Beals, Associate Curator and Outreach Director for the Nevada Museum of Art.

TOM05Tom and Carmen Beals

TOM06Lynn Morris, Tom Putzier, James Stanford


Hartlauer Signs neon bender, Jerry, demonstrates the art of neon bending. Image courtesy Thomas Putzier.

Now back in his hometown of Minneapolis, MN, Tom is processing his Introduction Week experiences in preparation for creating new work during his Neon Museum residency project beginning mid-January 2023, when he will be based in a central live/work space in Juhl, Downtown Las Vegas. Additional details for an artist talk and exhibition will be announced in the future. 


 The AIR7 program is made possible by presenting sponsors Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support provided by the Juhl, Laci Cerrone (@lasvegasgal), and James Stanford and Lynn Morris.


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