The Arts Factory
Wes Isbutt and Debra Heiser, owners of The Arts Factory, bring to the 18b Arts District the delights of Chef Beni Velàzquez’s contemporary Latin fusion cuisine, with Bar+Bistro.
The Arts Factory was created to build a community of fine and practical artists. It exists to inspire these artists to greatness. With the addition of the Bar+Bistro, the Arts Factory has supplied a central social environment in which to gather and exchange ideas and creative concepts, inspired by great food, classic cocktails and art. The Arts Factory continues to build community by donating facilities for art education, drawing classes, poetry readings, live musical and avant-garde theatrical productions, as well as provide a meeting place for the 18b LV Neighborhood Association and the home of the Contemporary Arts Center. Isbutt and Heiser’s redevelopment of the Arts Factory is one of the most successful examples of “adaptive reuse” Las Vegas has seen to date and has become the hub for creative arts in downtown Las Vegas, including First Fridays, a monthly art walk in the 18b arts district. For a full list of arts factory tenants, upcoming events, and additional details, please visit our events calendar or the website at www.theartsfactory.com.
A 2-story 32,000 square-foot building, which dates from 1946, the Arts Factory has had a checkered history as a furniture outlet, office supply store and light industrial warehouse. The transformation of this mixed use complex into a center for commercial arts was the brain child of Wes Myles Isbutt, owner of Studio West Photography.
Wes Isbutt earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photography at the prestigious Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, Calif. He is the founder and owner of Studio West Photography, a commercial studio based in Las Vegas, NV that services local and national clients, such as the MGM/Mirage, Sony, and Gourmet Magazine. Wes saw the potential of restoring the centrally located downtown structure into an art center similar to metropolitan lofts and artist complexes he had visited in Europe, San Francisco and NYC. Wes purchased the building in 1996, and began the renovation and redesign work that is ongoing. The Arts Factory is now home to 23 commercial art-related tenants, representing photography, fine art, architecture, graphic design, aerosal art supplies, comics, artistic toys, a yoga school and the most recent addtion, Bar+Bistro.
Debra Heiser is principal of Heiser Design, a graphic design boutique that engages in brand strategy and design in print and web for small to large companies. Born and raised in North Dakota, Debra studied at the Université Paris-Sorbonne before earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the Academy of Art University, in San Francisco, Calif. She combines a focused work ethic with a passion for design. Each design challenge is approached with this focus and creativity to define the project, establish its objectives, and determine solutions. Heiser Design is a certified WBE (Women Business Enterprise).
A known leader in the Las Vegas design community, Heiser has served on the Executive board of the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Las Vegas Chapter, a national organization that serves to promote the value and ethical practices of graphic design. During her tenure, she served as creative director and project coordinator for AIGA 18b Arts District branding project, the only grant of its kind, funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and in collaboration with the Cultural Affairs division of the City of Las Vegas.
Heiser currently sits on the board of the Downtown Design Review Committee as a commissioner for the City of Las Vegas. She also sits on the board of the Longmont Council for the Arts, Longmont, Colorado, the second office location of Heiser Design.