Space Whale art sculpture lights up City Plaza
UPDATE: **Due to weather and safety concerns during install this past weekend, the Space Whale dedication has been postponed. A new date and time will be announced soon.**
The City of Reno will officially dedicate Space Whale, a large illuminated stained glass and steel art sculpture, into its temporary public art collection on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 8:15 p.m. The ceremony is open to the public and will be held on the City Plaza, where the sculpture will shine brightly until after Burning Man 2018.
City of Reno crews have been working with artist Matt Schultz over the last few weeks to install the 50-foot sculpture. The installation will continue this week, including closure of Virginia Street from First Street to Mill Street at 6 a.m. on Wednesday (August 2) through the end of day on Thursday (August 3).
The road closure is necessary in order for cranes to help lift and piece together Space Whale, a life-sized sculpture of a humpback whale mother and calf designed to look as though they're floating supported by the baby and one large fin. Installation is expected to be complete by Monday, August 7.
“We ask for the community’s patience as we work to install this vibrant piece of art,” said Reno City Councilmember Naomi Duerr, who is the Council Liaison to the Arts & Culture Commission. “I’m confident residents and tourists will flock downtown to see this incredible structure, as we continue build momentum for our great arts and culture destination. Of note, the Space Whale is being paid for via a special fund dedicated in part to the arts, not the general fund.”
On April 12, 2017, the Reno City Council voted unanimously to approve a year-long lease of Space Whale in an amount not to exceed $64,086 from the Room Tax Fund, which uses money generated by taxing tourists who stay in Reno hotels. That money is allocated for uses that specifically provide a tourism amenity, or promote tourism in the Reno area.
Schultz paired with internationally known graphics illustrator Android Jones to create the nearly 2,000 stained glass panels that wrap across the bodies of the whales.
About Matt Schultz
Matt Schultz is the Executive Director of The Generator, an experimental art and social space based around compelling people to create and invent in an open, inclusive, decommodified environment. He is also the Lead Artist for The Pier Group, an artist collective whose main focus is the creation of large-scale art and the long-term proliferation of art into our day-to-day lives.
About Android Jones
Android Jones, revered as a digital alchemist, is known for his creations of mind-expanding artwork that reach into the viewers deepest depth of consciousness. Using intricate digital setups, Jones expounds layered psychedelic pieces of live art that combine earthly tones and geometric patterns. Having grown up on a secluded farm in Lyons, Colorado, (where he still currently resides) Jones attained influence from the natural world which surrounded him. He is a longtime member of the Burning Man community, and has been featured at festivals around the world.