Monday, October 13, 2014

Goldwell Open Air Museum (Rhyolite, NV) - 10/12/13

This is a 15-acre outdoor sculpture park located near the ghost town of Rhyolite. The mission of the museum is to "preserve, present, and encourage artistic exploration in and of the Amargosa Desert..."  There is information about both the museum and the town of Rhyolite in the small building situated in the middle of the sculpture park.

The creation and installation of the major sculpture, "The Last Supper," by Belgian artist Albert Szukalski in 1984 was the beginning of the museum.

The artist wrapped live models in fabric soaked in wet plaster and posed them as the original painting, "The Last Supper," by Leonardo Da Vinci. The models slipped out after the plaster dried. The figures were then coated with fiberglass to protect them from the harsh desert weather.

"Ghost Rider" (1984) also by Albert Szukalski was constructed in the same fashion as "The Last Supper."

Both works by Szukalski have a ghostly, haunting feel to them. Very interesting.

"Lady Desert: The Venue of Nevada" (1992) by Dr. Hugh Heyrman.

"Iscara" (1992) by Dre Peeters represents a female counterpoint to the Greek myth Icarus. The figure was hand-carved.

"Tribute to Shorty Harris" (1994) by Fred Bervoets. Shorty was a legendary prospector in the area; the penguin reflects the optimism of a miner's endeavor.

"Sit Here!" (2000) by Sofie Siegmann was created for a kids project at the Lied Discovery Children's Museum in Las Vega. It was relocated to Goldwell in 2007.

This is a meditation circle that has been created by visitors to the museum.

We came to see the ghost town, but were unexpectedly delighted to see the interesting and, somewhat strange, works here.

The Goldwell Open Air Museum has a facility, the Red Barn Art Center, in the Bullfrog Town site southwest of Rhyolite. It houses a large studio and performance/exhibition space and serves as a base for artist residency and workspace program.

Admission is free...definitely worth a visit.


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