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A Phalanx of Angels Ascending

A Phalanx of Angels Ascending

Field review by the editors.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The 16-foot-high Blue Angel statue was a rare surviving relic in demolition-crazed Las Vegas, standing atop the Blue Angel Motel for nearly 60 years. The motel was demolished and the statue was moved into storage in 2017 -- but artists James Stanford and Cliff Morris missed her. Stanford had a photo of the Angel, taken against rolling storm clouds, and decided to use that as the basis of a tribute mural on a building near the Angel's former spot. He also decided that the only thing better than one Blue Angel would be many Blue Angels, so he and Morris painted nearly 20 of them, wrapped around a building.

While several depict the Angel as she looked atop her Motel perch, one is a mashup of her and Botticelli's Birth of Venus, and others have replaced her feet with flaming rocket engines, a tribute to the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, which fly out of nearby Nellis Air Force Base.

A Phalanx of Angels Ascending

705 Las Vegas Blvd N., Las Vegas, NV
Just northeast of the I-15/I-515 interchange. I-515 exits 75 or 75A. Turn north onto Las Vegas Blvd, drive two blocks. The mural will be on the left, across the street from the Siegel Suites motel.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

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