b'96 LASARTSCAPESDesert Wildlife on the MoveTheres much more to Las Vegas than bustling casinosThe process Phelps used to create each animal was long and glitzy stage shows. Harry Reid International Airportand complicated. First, he carved the body out of Styrofoam, (LAS) uses artwork to remind visitors about the areasand then covered it with a mixture of plaster and chopped nylon red rock canyons, Aztec sandstone and ancient petroglyphs.fibers. Next, he roughed up the surface to expose the fibers One of the airports most enduring nature-oriented piecesand covered everything in mud. As the mud dried, it cracked, is Desert Wildlife by David L. Phelps, a series of concretecreating a texture that connotes the drought-riddled desert floor. sculptures that highlights animals from the local Mojave Desert. To make the pieces durable enough for public display at the Though Phelps didnt design the sculptures to be moved,high-traffic airport, Phelps created rubber molds of the animals some of the larger-than-life animals have migrated since heand cast them out of concrete reinforced with glass fibers. installed them in 1999. For instance, the black-tailed jackrabbitTheyve really held up well, and people love to feel the that once crouched at the top of the escalator near the D gatescrackled surfaces and pose with them for pictures, he in Terminal 1 is now in the Terminal 3 tram station; and the newcomments. During COVID, the horned lizard had a giant mask home of the desert tortoise is the Terminal 3 Baggage Claim.on its face, so it was extra popular.The rattlesnake, which originally slithered at the bottom of theAfter nearly 25 years on display, all of the animals in the series escalator near the D gates, was recently moved into storage toseem to have lasting appeal. Not a day goes by that I dont get make room for new retail concessions. The ultimate flexibility ofa hit on my website about this piece, Phelps reports. People the exhibit has proved to be valuable as infrastructure and trafficsee it at the airport and want to know more.patterns changed at LAS throughout the years.Desert Wildlife also includes a horned lizard and that still resides in its initial spot. Sadly, the scorpion was damaged and is indefinitely retired. September2023AirportImprovement.com'