Las Vegas artist Mark Brandvik is in the final stages of completing and installing a new public art sculpture for downtown Overton. This unique sculpture, called Earth Rise is a gateway to Michael Heizer’s “Double Negative” and offers a conversation with that famous earthwork that has become a historical landmark on the mesa to the east of Overton.
Brandvik is currently working with local general contractor Brimont Construction, Inc. to install the sculpture at the Moapa Valley Community Center’s front lawn at 320 N. Moapa Valley Blvd.
Earth Rise is intended as a monument for the community. It is designed to celebrate the international legacy of Heizer’s work in Nevada and Moapa Valley’s local history and culture. Installation for the sculpture has already begun at the Community Center which is on a central and inline site between Double Negative and the Valley of Fire State Park, where spectacular geological features offer further design inspiration.
“This is an exciting addition for the community and is a gateway from The Moapa Valley Community Center’s front lawn to Michael Heizer’s sculpture on the mesa,” said County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “This landmark sculpture will be a wonderful and sophisticated connection for the people of Overton and art enthusiasts visiting the area.”
In 1969, artist Michael Heizer developed Double Negative, a project located on the east edge of the Mormon Mesa to the east of Moapa Valley. The mammoth project entailed the displacement of 240,000 tons of mostly sandstone and rhyolite rock and involved local contractors to complete.
“In that same year, NASA astronauts, who had previously carried out training and geological studies in the Nevada desert, were preparing to launch to Earth’s closest rock,” said Brandvik. “This historical symmetry is reflected in the formal symmetry of Earth Rise – the dynamite blast of rock doubles as a dynamic rocket exhaust plume, with both forms navigating and altering notions of space.”
In addition to creating this sculpture, Brandvik worked with art students at the Moapa Valley High School, with supervision from MVHS art teacher Donna Swanson. The students were asked to create their glyph images, which were turned into student works of art. The artist gave an in-depth presentation to the students about the Earth Rise project, including the historical inspiration from petroglyphs found in Valley of Fire State Park and a brief history of Michael Heizer’s Double Negative.