Want to get off the beaten path in Las Vegas? Curiously, my top recommendation is to go most visited place of all – the McCarran Airport. See if you can find the fiberglass Vaquero Statue by sculptor Luis Alfonso Jiménez, Jr (whose work can also be seen in Austin, Texas and at the Denver Airport. Airport art fans, head two blocks to the formerly grassy hill (now xeriscaped) opposite the old airport. The brilliant Vaquero is hard to miss and easy to drive on by. Consult the Google map.
Next visit, I’ll stream the video from the place via #periscope.
My personal connecting is fleeting. I first saw this very work at the University of Texas in the late 1980s and fell in love with the unabashed excess of color and motion. Says Handbook of Texas Online: “His sculpture Vaquero pays homage to the fact that Mexican vaqueros were the forerunners of American cowboys.” There are some signs of aging, splotches on the paint. Even in distress, the vaquero is a recommended-visit. Read more about the artist and this work in the Austin Chronicle feature Larger than Life.
Questions for the Airport
Are there guided tours of the airport? Of the airport art?
What’s the most convenient parking to visit El Vaquero?
What’s the history of El Vaquero and why is it here?
Questions for everyone
What are you favorite, must visit places in Las Vegas? (And remember, what you recommend says a lot about you!)
What Las Vegas must-sees would you add to a creative visual treasure hunt?
Have you seen a sculpture by Luis Jimenez?