When I studied abroad in Florence, Italy, my father insisted I take an art history class. Seeing that I was living in the Renaissance capital, I decided this wouldn’t be a bad idea – this way, when I toured museums like the Vatican and the Uffizi, I didn’t look like a complete tourist and could share some fun facts with my parents when they visited me (and to show them I was indeed attending class while abroad!).

This course truly allowed me to develop an appreciation for famous works of art and the most influential artists of all time, including, Raphael, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci. However, as a public relations and advertising major, I grouped art history together with subjects such as calculus, geometry and chemistry as “Classes That Will Never Display Relevancy in My Life Once I Receive a Final Grade.”

Oh, how wrong I was.

Fast forward to May 2012, and I am assigned to a new client: an exhibition about the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci called Da Vinci – The Genius at the new Imagine Exhibitions Gallery at The Venetian. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. Not only would I be able to add a little piece of Florence to my daily life, but I could finally apply that semester of art history to my career! Ah, don’t you love when everything comes full circle?

Working with Da Vinci – The Genius has not only revived my knowledge of da Vinci, it has simply been a crash course in one of the most brilliant minds of all time. Did you know that he came up with the original concepts for the airplane, the parachute, army tank, the helicopter, the first humanoid, SCUBA, the automobile, ball bearing, and odometer? Oh yeah, he also had some time to paint – “Mona Lisa” – anyone? Don’t forget to add to his resume that he was also an anatomist, sculptor, musician and architect. (It made me wonder if da Vinci invented the 48 hour day as well…) 

Another aspect I love about Da Vinci – The Genius is that it’s so much more than your typical gallery – this exhibition is a completely immersive experience that leaves you feeling enlightened. Even people who are skeptical to visit a museum of any sort are fascinated by the 13 themed rooms and full-scale interpretations of his inventions (my 16 year old sister can attest to this). Da Vinci – The Genius is also making great ties with the local community – Hyde Park Middle School visited as part of their extensive studies on da Vinci and we brought pieces from the exhibition to Downtown Las Vegas’ First Friday.

I never thought one of my must-see Vegas recommendations would be a gallery, but Da Vinci – The Genius is a testament to this city’s growing appetite for art and intellect. Now to figure out how to make geometry relevant in my daily life…

-Kara Rutkin

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