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Showgirls aside, Las Vegas isn't known for its attention to the visual arts. "The visual arts are on the bottom of the totem pole out here," says photographer Diane Bush, who left Buffalo for Las Vegas a little over a year ago. That hasn't slowed Bush. She is now director of the Contemporary Arts Collective, an artist-run organization similar to Buffalo's Hallwalls, and is showing her art all around the town to favorable notices.

Currently her "Taking Picture" series -- photographs with viewer-activated sound bits -- is on view at the Nevada Institute for Contemporary Art, the institution that earlier in the summer hosted a Bush solo exhibition of marco-photographs.

During her Buffalo years Bush operated a successful vintage clothing business called Fifi and was justly famous for her inventive retro outfits. Aided and abetted by equally retro-smitten husband and artist Steven Baskin, Bush enlivened many an art exhibition opening over the years. With the couple's departure there was a noticeable draining of color from the local scene.

Will Fifi survive in the neon jungle? "Fifi's still alive and well," says Bush. "She's just hanging around waiting to see what opportunities present themselves."
-- Richard Huntington

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