Playful Art that Beckons You into the Desert

raptorThey’re scattered in the desert sand, a ways back from the road. Mostly, you’d never even notice them as you drive by. Woolly mammoths, sabertooth tigers, a serpent, dinosaurs, and a grasshopper and scorpion so large they must have escaped from a 1950s horror film.

insectsgrasshopperdino

In the Anza-Borrego Desert in southern California, you will find some 140 wild and fascinating creatures. But fear not, they are cast in metal and welcome you to approach. These fantastic larger-than-life sculptures are the creation of Ricardo Breceda. The story goes that he first made a dinosaur for his daughter. Afterward, he met up with the owner of Galleta Meadows Estates in Borrego Springs, Dennis Avery. Avery had had the idea of using hsignis land as an art gallery, so the two seemed destined to meet.

Visitors are welcomed to tour the Galleta Meadows Sky Art project and see the sculptures up close. Sculptures may not be the best way to describe them; statues or installations is probably more accurate.

eagleboars

There are no fences around the artworks. You can touch them and walk all around. They are impressive. Each has unique textures and designs to the metal covering.

two dinostwo dinos2

claw feetInstallations include real and imaginary creatures, in addition to a few human figures, a cactus and a Jeep that’s attempting to scale some rocks.

It boggles the mind to think of the inspiration and labor that went into each.

serpent frontserpent back

 

 

The road bisects a mythical serpent

Each stands silent and frozen in time. Though some seem to be crying out, perhaps their last gasp as their species died out. Others stare you down with cold, dark eyes that say, “You walk the earth now, but we too once roamed it, and now we are gone.”

dino crymammoth1Wild horses, camels and tortoises remind us that they are imperiled; their homes under constant threat of development.

horses2horsescamelcamels

So, what is the point of the Sky Art project?

I think it goes beyond simple public art. Visitors can experience a variety of emotions.

For me, there were connections to the ancient earth and extinct creatures. The stark desert landscape seems a fitting site for them, silent and seemingly otherwise endlessly empty.

tortoises

rainbowhead2tiger

tiger2mammothsdino stop

feet

 

Published by

Joan E. Miller

Born and raised on the east coast, I now live in the amazing Pacific Northwest. I'm a writer, photographer, lover of nature. I'm also a gardener, of food, flowers and shrubs.

4 thoughts on “Playful Art that Beckons You into the Desert”

  1. Such a weirdly wonderful concept, how unusual!

    When did you see, Joan?

    I bet kids at the dinosaur-crazy age especially love this. Very ‘Jurassic Park’ too 🙂

    Like

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