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'Spirit of the Land' exhibit at Barrick Museum honors Avi Kwa Ame

Spirit of the Land
Spirit of the Land

The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art at UNLV is hosting “Spirit of the Land,” described as a love letter to the flora, fauna, geology, history and people of the East Mojave landscape and southernmost tip of Nevada.

The exhibit features the work of 40 artists and musicians celebrating the country around Spirit Mountain, known in the Mojave language as Avi Kwa Ame.

According to a media release from Battle Born Progress, the mountain is considered sacred by ten Yuman-speaking tribes, as well as the Hopi and Chemehuevi Paiute. 

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“Spirit of the Land reflects on the continuing spiritual importance of this revered wilderness area and the past and future of nearby rural communities such as Searchlight, Nelson, Cal-Nev-Ari, and Ft. Mojave, all of which are searching for pathways that will carry them forward into a sustainable future. Through painting, photography, sculpture, video, and more, the exhibition offers visitors glimpses of the complex beauty of this unique desert terrain,” they said of the exhibit.

Curator Kim Garrison Means said they hope the exhibit confronts the idea of the desert as a wasteland, or a place to be exploited.

The exhibit is partnering with satellite locations in the community, and will be at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, as well as the Searchlight Community Center, from March 25 through July 23, and the Laughlin Library from April 10 through June 25.

The opening reception will be in Las Vegas on Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

More information on the exhibition can be found here.

Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the online editor for Nevada Public Radio. She curates content on, our weekly newsletter and social media for Nevada Public Radio and Desert Companion.