Jacobs Entertainment announced today that two large sculptures will be added this fall to its Neon Line, a collection of outdoor art pieces along West Fourth Street. The artworks are part of the Colorado-based casino developer’s planned “live-work-play district.”

One of the sculptures is a 14-foot-tall metal female figure called “Tara Mechani” by San Francisco artist Dana Albany. The figure is inspired by Tara, the female Buddha, and Maria, the robot from the 1927 silent film Metropolis. According to Albany’s website, “Tara is a composite of recycled machine parts, hinges, hardware, keys, locks, door handles, stainless steel, cable, chain, gears, cogs, copper, brass, hints of glass, tools and old artifacts … all collected from local San Francisco businesses that have either vanished or changed hands.” The piece debuted at Burning Man in 2017 and has been on display outdoors in San Jose and San Francisco.

Dana Albany’s “Tara Mechani” at Burning Man in 2017. Photo: Kris Vagner

Materials that make up “Tara Mechani” include bicycle gears and chains. Photo: Kris Vagner

The other sculpture is a 35-foot-tall polar bear made largely of recycled, white car hoods by Santa Fe, New Mexico team Don Kennell and Lisa Adler. Their giant, often colorful animal sculptures—including a gorilla, a coyote and a hummingbird—have been installed in cities and shown at festivals, including Coachella.

When the polar bear debuted at Burning Man in 2018, it was titled “Long View,”—apparently a reference to the polar bear’s official status as “threatened,” which is one step above “endangered.” According to a press release issued today by Jacobs Entertainment, the piece now has the more corporate-friendly title “Polar Bear.”

Don Kennell and Lisa Adler’s giant polar bear was on the playa in 2018. Photo: Kris Vagner

The polar bear’s claws are made of diamond plate metal sheeting. Photo: Kris Vagner.

In addition to the sculptures, Jacobs plans to add eight historical neon signs to the Neon Line this fall. The press release issued today reads, “Upon completion, Reno’s Neon Line will be a half-mile-long installation involving static sculptures, historic neon signs, lighting and music.”

A rendering shows what part of the Neon Line might look like when completed. This image features a neon sign from the former City Center Motel. Image: Courtesy Jacobs Entertainment.

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Posted by Kris Vagner

Kris Vagner, Double Scoop's Editor and Publisher, is a journalist who's been covering arts and culture in Nevada and California since 2004. She freelances for the Reno News & Review and other publications. Kris has earned awards for critical writing, entertainment writing, feature writing, and—somehow—sportswriting. Read more at www.krisvagner.com.

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