Can stacked, day-glo, locally sourced boulders be an inspired, ephemeral roadside attraction? Yes, with free admission. // ¿Pueden los cantos rodados apilados, diurnos y de origen local ser una atracción inspirada y efímera en la carretera? Sí, con entrada gratuita.
Seven Magic Mountains has been a Vegas fave, a go-to, whimsical delight since May 2016 on the northbound side of Interstate 15 near the southern, southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard, about 30 miles from the Vegas Strip. This installation of 30-feet high land art is blue highway travel enhanced with a rainbow of bright colors.
Hashtags: #7magicmountains #UgoRondinone
Questions // Preguntas
- When will the exhibit be removed and where it will be removed to? // ¿Cuándo se eliminará la exposición y a dónde se llevará?
- What other outdoor art works and land art are accessible in Nevada? // ¿Qué otras obras de arte al aire libre y land art son accesibles en Nevada?
‘Why destroy beautiful land art?’
There is a dirt path that connects the parking lot to the seven stacked sculptures. All of the visitors appear to be in jovial moods. No one stays too long. According to Google, the average visit is about 25 minutes.
The $3.5 million project was originally supposed to end in 2018, but the contract was extended through 2027. The exhibit was produced through a partnership among the Nevada Museum of Art, Rondinone, and New York’s Art Production Fund.
From photos it may be difficult to assess the physical presence and surprise these granite hoodoos manifest on the Jean Dry Lake. From the highway, the sculpture seem small, sharing the significance and colors of aquarium pebbles. While the rocks are colorful, they are not small. The locally sourced boulders are stacked in 35-foot (10 meter) towers, about the height of a two-story house.
Attention travelers on I-15, Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Be tempted by this multi-colored photo opportunity – touristy without apology, trending in an oh so cool way. Slow travelers, this is the place to stretch your legs and people watch. Take your time. Get to meet the desert.
From the highway, look for the installation at Mile 18 on I-15. Unlike many of the other things to do in Las Vegas, the parking here is free.
- Watch out for venomous snakes
- The installation is dog- and drone-friendly.
- Stay hydrated.
- Windy days are dusty days. Avoid going when there are gusts.
- Seven Magic Mountains is 11 miles south of the M resort on South Las Vegas Boulevard.
- The installation attracts 325,000 people annually, according to the federal Bureau of Land Management which helps manage the site.
- From 2022-2026 Clark County Parks and Recreation Department is helping financially support maintenance at the site with a $50,000 annual sponsorship.
- Cost: Free
August 2022: The site underwent maintenance including pressure washing and the application of new paint. Vergith Contracting was contracted for the renovation.
“Renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s colorful large-scale, public artwork Seven Magic Mountains is a two-year exhibition located in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring seven thirty to thirty-five-foot high day-glow totems comprised of painted, locally-sourced limestone boulders.
Visible across the desert landscape along Interstate 15, Seven Magic Mountains offers a creative critique of the simulacra of destinations like Las Vegas. According to Rondinone, the location is physically and symbolically mid-way between the natural and the artificial: the natural is expressed by the mountain ranges, desert, and Jean Dry Lake backdrop, and the artificial is expressed by the highway and the constant flow of traffic between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Seven Magic Mountains is produced by the Art Production Fund, New York and Nevada Museum of Art, Reno. Approximately 10 miles south of the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway in Henderson, the installation site is a short distance from Jean Dry Lake where Michael Heizer and Jean Tinquely created legendary land art works in the 1960s. Many of the project’s public programs will take place at ARIA Resort and Casino, and partner locations in Nevada, including the Marjorie Barrick Museum on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.”
The exhibition opened May 11, 2016, and was originally scheduled to be on view for two years. Due to the incredible success of Seven Magic Mountains since its opening, artist Ugo Rondinone has expressed a strong desire to explore ways to keep the artwork on view at its current site. The Producers continue to work on an extension plan that would enable Seven Magic Mountains to remain on view for several years into the future. At the end of 2018, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a three-year permit extension for the artwork, allowing the installation to remain on view through the end of 2022 and perhaps until 2027.