Like so many successful business owners before him, Brett Wesley Sperry is his own best customer. Virtually any time you visit one of his Arts District businesses — Brett Wesley Gallery, hip 18b nightspot Artifice and the Art Square complex — you’ll find him simply hanging out, enjoying a drink with friends or eying a new piece of art for his collection. Thing is, he loves being downtown, full stop. And if you’re going to spend a good chunk of your life hanging out in your favorite neighborhood, why not own your place in it?
HI! MY NAME IS: Brett Wesley Sperry. It used to be “Brett Sperry,” but I got tired of the BS.
BUT MY FRIENDS CALL ME: Only when they want a place to crash. Or money.
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS SAY ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? I actually asked them recently, and here’s what they said: “Manifestor of things.” “Creates his own reality distortion field.” “Low-grade menace.” And “obsesses needlessly over details and lighting.”
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS? The family moved here from Connecticut one July in the 1980s — details are murky, but I recall it was an astonishingly bright and confusing time for all. I moved downtown to the Arts District exactly 4.4 years ago after losing a bet.
WHY LIVE DOWNTOWN? ISN’T IT AN UNTAMED WASTELAND? I wasn’t getting enough reality living on the west side (more a result of a serious World of Warcraft addiction, now that I think about it). Plus, certain areas of downtown look like a blank canvas to me, and I knew I’d find the similarly afflicted down here.
WHAT’S THE BEST DAMN THING ABOUT DOWNTOWN? A wide range of things to drink. And the drinkers themselves. Everyone gets creative eventually, and I do enjoy peculiar, creative people.
DOWNTOWN NEEDS ______ MORE THAN ANYTHING. Trees, and I don’t mean palms, either. What’s up with all the tree haters?
THE FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE: FRIEND OR FOE? Friend. But foe to those not used to drinking at the Griffin.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN DOWNTOWN TO EAT? Mundo, for chimichurri steak. Lola’s chicken jambalaya. Le Thai’s ginger chicken.
TO DRINK? The Downtown Cocktail Room, for the Downtown Dill.
TO BE ENTERTAINED? The Cabaret Room at the Smith Center. The open-air garden in Art Square (not-so-shameless plug).
WHERE DO YOU GO TO RELAX? I enjoy wandering aimlessly in Calico Basin, Death Valley and Valley of Fire — sometimes with camera in hand. Art galleries in general, and Sunday nights with friends for late-night jazz at Artifice.
IF YOU WERE ANOINTED SUPREME RULER OF DOWNTOWN FOR ONE DAY, WHAT’S THE ONE THING YOU WOULD DO? Give everyone $5,000 cash or a serious amount of art/design/movie supplies/equipment, and watch what happens.
PHOTO BY ANDREW JAMES