City Cast

Where to See Las Vegas' Best Public Art

Scott Dickensheets
Scott Dickensheets
Posted on August 24
Photo of the sculpture "Dream Machine" near Reid International Airport

You have to be near the airport to see “Dream Machine.” (Scott Dickensheets/City Cast Las Vegas)

It can be a challenge to select great public art in a town packed with sophisticated signage, hunks of branding, and even some buildings that practically qualify as sculpture themselves. But let’s try.

This dramatic, organic swirl rises 26 feet from its earthen mound at Siegfried & Roy Park. The artist likens it to a “mysterious atomic love child of dust devils and drones" — forces that speak deeply to this region.

Anyone not love this 10-foot-high, tongue-lolling cat, which became a whimsical Arts District icon the minute it was installed in 2014? Didn’t think so. It embodies the neighborhood’s playful, creative vibe.

This terrific piece is a marvel of positive and negative shapes — which artists Adolfo Gonzalez, Dayo Adelaja, Denise Duarte, and Slyvester Collier took to the next level by positioning it to create intricate shadow-play on the nearby wall. Inventive and just a treat to look at.

One function of public art, especially important in a suburban blahscape like ours, is to add particularity to a neighborhood’s sense of place. This Clark County project achieves that across the valley by covering nondescript utility boxes with work by local artists — occasionally to controversial effect.

You needn’t have read the dense French theory the title refers to in order to enjoy this abstracted, planar mountain-shape. Jutting up in a downtown courtyard surrounded by urban buildings, it’s a witty play on the role of artifice in Las Vegas.

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