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Past Adventure: Art in the Desert

Last year, my husband and I went with a friend to visit some interesting places in the Nevada desert. One of the places we visited is the Goldwell Open Air Museum near the ghost town of Rhyolite.

The Goldwell Open Air Museum offers spectacular, south-facing views across the Mojave Desert; seven monumental sculptures; a historic early 1900′s house; and is surrounded by varied desert terrains (mountains, flats, and washes).

There are some interesting pieces of artwork displayed in this open air museum. However, I connected only with two pieces that are displayed. Therefore, I decided to share with you what these two pieces of artwork are and how I connected with them.

Full Size Couch Sculpture called “Sit Here” by artist Sofie Siegmann


      I am impressed with the medium that the artist used, especially the various colored tiles. I am also impressed by the detail and even the functionality of the piece. Overall, I compliment the artist on the whole concept and the execution.

However, what I connected with the most on this piece is the emotion I felt when I saw how damaged it is. The damage is not just from the elements, which I expected being in a desert environment, but by people who I assume want to “take” a piece of this artwork home with them. It is a shame what has happened to such a beautiful piece of art and I hope that someday it can be restored.

A Ghostly sculptured version of “The Last Supper” created by artist Albert Szukalski


    This seemed, to me, to be an unusual version of this famous piece of art. The ghostly motif, I believe, gives this famous scene a new meaning. Overall, I get the impression that death is not very far anyone who appears in that scene or whomever views it. I am not sure if this is the impression the artist tried to convey with this piece. However, there is another reason why this sculpture impressed me. I am impressed at how well made this piece is. The artist used some great materials in creating the sculpture. Based on my observation, this piece holds up very well in the environment of this open air museum. I would not be surprised if this is still in the same spot for many years to come.

Even though I only connected with a few pieces in this museum, I would encourage anyone who is interested in this type of artwork to visit. For more information of the other artwork displayed or how to get to the Goldwell Open Air Museum, please visit the following sites:

Southern Rhyolite: The Goldwell Open Air Museum

Visiting the Goldwell Open Air Museum

Trip Advisor Article on The Goldwell Open Air Museum

Death Valley Chamber of Commerce article on museum

Places Earth article on museum

Via Magazine article about museum

#AtoZChallenge: Ghost Town of Rhyolite


A-Z Blog Challenge Topic: Ghost Town of Rhyolite

Today, I am going to share my adventure into the Ghost Town of Rhyolite, which is located near Death Valley.


Rhyolite, Nevada was once a prosperous mining town that rose and died within a 20 year period. Some of the remains that can be seen during the auto/walking tour include:


John S Cook Bank Building
The three-story building located on Golden Street was erected in 1908. Fact: It’s one of the most photographed buildings in Nevada ghost towns.


Mercantile Building
Erected in 1906, this is one of the few remaining wood buildings left in the town of Rhyolite.


Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad Depot
Erected in 1909, this is one of the fully intact buildings left in Rhyolite.



Tom Kelly’s Bottle House
The famous bottle house was completed in 1906 on Amargosa Street by Tom Kelly, a local saloon keeper. The bottle house was made of empty beer and liquor bottles, which Mr. Kelly collected from the back yards of local saloons. The bottles were laid on their sides and embedded with adobe mud mortar. Paramount Pictures restored this building in 1925, for the filming of “Wanderer of the Wasteland.” Today, the bottle house sits behind a fence with a locked gate. However, a bottle “town”, located on the grounds, can be seen just behind the fence.

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