The 26-foot-tall, spiraling sculpture dubbed "Dream Machine" will be dedicated Tuesday, Dec. 13 at
11 a.m. by County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, County officials, local artist Wayne Littlejohn and illusionists Siegfried and Roy, whose names adorn the park where the sculpture is located.
The sculptural tour de force has become the object of admiration from passing motorists near McCarran International Airport. While the sculpture is hard to miss from nearby roadways, what motorists may not see is the undulating earth beneath the Dream Machine, which adds another dimension to the piece. About 30,000 vehicles per day pass by the park, located near the cross streets of Russell Road and Maryland Parkway at 5590 Wilbur St.
"This is a captivating work of art," said Commissioner Scow, who represents the area where it is located. "We believe it is one of the most important pieces of public art in Las Vegas in years. It's the kind of work that generates buzz, given its high-profile prominence along a busy thoroughfare. A lot of tourists coming from the airport are going to drive by and see that we're a real community that appreciates public art. And I believe it'll become a source of pride to locals. It's very exciting."
Littlejohn described his work as "a fusion of light and movement and is inspired by the geological and technological forces that shape the Southwest. It arises from the earth like some mysterious atomic love child of dust devils and drones."
Siegfried & Roy said in a statement, "We have always had a 'larger than life' vision – whether for our show or our dreams -- and now it is beautifully represented in this stunning piece of art. We are proud to have it in our park and glad to share it with everybody, especially the people of Las Vegas. We hope it will become the most desired new 'photo op' in town. To us, it represents a new dimension of passion – it will be the symbol of our new year – happy, but aloof – floating like a feather. Can you just imagine what this will look like at sundown? One of the wonders of the world – Magic and Hallucination at the same time."
The sculpture was funded by the Clark County Percent for the Arts program. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was released in 2014 and in July 2015 a review panel of five citizens selected Littlejohn's proposal, which references Las Vegas's atomic history and probes the mathematic, historical and aesthetic appeal of the spiral. Littlejohn, a College of Southern Nevada instructor, was selected from among 33 applicants who responded to a call to artists to create the work. The artwork was in development for two years, from structural engineering to carving to casting.
The 20-acre park opened Dec. 4, 2015, while the sculpture was erected in October 2016. The park features a walking path, two tennis courts, a splash pad and a range of playground equipment suitable for toddlers through pre-teens. The $11.5 million park was developed by the Clark County Department of Aviation as the final project of the Terminal 3 airport expansion. Funding included $4.5 million in capital parks grants from Clark County.
With parking access from Maryland Parkway as well as from Lady Marlene Avenue, the park provides additional recreational space for those who live near McCarran International Airport.