LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – If you’ve driven on I-15 south of Las Vegas, you’re familiar with the “Seven Magic Mountains”.
The colorful rocks stick out like a sore thumb in the empty Nevada desert. They’ve been there for three years. Now, work is underway to spruce up the sculpture. And at the same time – keep them from ever moving.
“I wanted to show her the exhibition because we thought it was kinda cool,” said Gisel Arriaga, a visitor to the site.
Arriaga and her “tour group” visit for the same reason almost everyone else does: To take a picture.
“Always, people ask about the meaning of art,” said Amanda Horn, from the Nevada Museum of Art. “The artists has said that Seven Magic Mountains is an act of poetry.”
The sculpture is a creation of Ugo Rondinone. It was installed in 2016 and only supposed to last a few years. The Bureau of Land Management recently approved an extension on the property until 2021.
That means the Seven Magic Mountains need one good fresh coat of paint.
“You encounter it, it’s like walking into a mirage,” said Horn.
But like a mirage, it’s possible for the sculpture to disappear. Federal approval is needed to use the land for this public art. Horn says the art museum is actively working to keep the Magic Mountains right where they are… for good.
“It’s an incredible vision to think about it being permanent. In order for that to happen, it’ll take a community of people coming together. We do not want to see it leave. The artist does not want to see it go anywhere.”
For now, the rocks are getting colored to help it pop out of the desert landscape. Attracting any and all to make their own art, out of art.
Horn says the repainting should be finished in July. The site is open while work continues.