The Katherine Gianaclis Park for the Arts

Art, Theatre, Music, Workshops, More.

A Brief History of the KGPA.

imageThe Katherine Gianaclis Park for the Arts is a redeemed treasure in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. The property has served Las Vegas in one capacity or another for 70 years. Fifty of those years by the Gianaclis/Kantor clan.

In the 1940s and 1950s the main building was “Bob’s French Dips,” a greasy spoon serving old-time Las Vegas. Nicholas Gianaclis, an immigrant Greek, bought the property in 1960 and opened “The Country Kitchen” up front and a lumber yard in the back. His death in 1973 led to the passing of the torch to Katherine Gianaclis, his daughter.

Katherine, a painter and mother of three, opened a Bible store on the property in 1973, having given up her paints after a spiritual upheaval which stemmed from her father’s death. She had been one of the most sought after muralists in Las Vegas history, painting major works for almost every strip hotel.

Upon her retirement from the Las Vegas stage, she ran the Bible store, Alpha/Omega, for 23 years.

The KGPA operated at various levels of intensity for eight years between 2002 and 2010. It provided Las Vegas with shows and events uncommon for the area. The KGPA presented mini-circuses like The Yard Dogs and Circus Contraption,freak shows like the Know-Nothing Family Zirkus/Zideshow, and even conceptual events like the Sociometry Fair and the Professor 8000%. It hosted the first Beckett Festival with Ernest Hemmings and Test Market and even opened up it’s doors for filmmakers to create their films.

The film component of the park gave birth to the always fun “Sh*thoof” Film Festival also known as “Scheissenhooven.” It was also briefly the home office of the Laservida Arts Cooperative, a cutting-edge arts group that included artists and supporters of the arts like Joe Cartino, Julie Brewer, Kirby Brownell and Christopher Reitmaier.

At the end of her life, Katherine Gianaclis picked up her brushes again and painted in what can best be described as a joyous manner for three years before her passing in 1999 at the age of 73.

In 2000, Gianaclis was given a posthumous showing at the Las Vegas Art Museum where her work, especially from the 1960s, was noted as being “of the highest order” and “twenty years ahead of its time.” The park is dedicated to her and her artistic contributions to Las Vegas and the world. You can see the artwork on the link from this site.

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This entry was posted on August 9, 2009 by in A Brief History of the KGPA..
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