Over the Fourth of July weekend, I had the opportunity to work on my first event for KDC – a new gallery opening for one of our clients, Jeff Mitchum. The celebrated nature photographer, whose work has graced the pages of National Geographic and The Rangefinder, opened the doors to his second Las Vegas fine art gallery at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. With more than 500 people in attendance, Mitchum, his family and Greg Welch, 1994 Ironman World Champion, ceremoniously cut the ribbon and welcomed guests into the glass-enclosed gallery.
Up to this point, I’d only seen Jeff’s work online, but getting to see the photos up close was even more stunning! The light and colors of each piece are all unique but what captures the attention of passers-by is the image that greets them. The entrance to the gallery features Mitchum’s famed $1.7 million showpiece, “Third Day,” and its accompanying glass sculpture, “Icewall,” by glass sculptor Markian Olynyk. The image is specially framed with a topographical map of Yosemite National Park where the photograph was taken.
Other exciting highlights of the evening included the unveiling of two never-before-seen images, “Castaway” and “Koholina.” Like all of his masterpieces, Mitchum envisioned the photographs years before he was able to capture them. “Castaway” was taken after a morning run when everything fell into place to create this breathtaking image; “Koholina,” which means “From Heaven to Earth” in Hawaiian, was shot on the west shore of Oahu in Hawaii, and is one of the only digital photographs on display.
Aside from his spectacular artwork, I was excited to finally see his innovative eco-friendly furniture displayed in the gallery. As part of his environmental sustainability initiative, Mitchum harvests wood from infertile coconut trees and gives them a second purpose in life by sculpting them into aesthetically pleasing yet functional art. These pieces are located around the gallery, creating intimate, relaxing spots to the delight of guests and collectors.
The night was a huge success, and many have enjoyed viewing Jeff’s work since the opening. I highly recommend stopping by the Jeff Mitchum Gallery at MGM Grand, which offers free admission and will be open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight.