Las Vegas Sun

September 22, 2018

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The iconic Blue Angel to visit the Neon Museum

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Mikayla Whitmore

After 61 years, the Blue Angel was removed from her pedestal by the City of Las Vegas and YESCO for restoration early in the morning in Downtown Las Vegas, Nev. on March 29, 2017. Once restored, the plan is to return her to the City and display her on a triangle shaped traffic median at the corner of Charleston and Fremont.

The Betty Willis-designed icon of the Blue Angel Motel was taken down in March 2017 for restoration. That’s still the plan, but on May 24, the Angel will visit the Neon Museum’s new Ne10 Studio space at 1001 W. Bonanza Road. And by the reckoning of Joshua Abbey, one of the organizers of the Blue Angel: Between Heaven and Earth art show, the Angel can’t come back quickly enough.

“We need to utilize her power as a guardian angel to the city,” Abbey said. “To my perception, for the 60 years she stood vigil, she acted really well in that capacity. … She’s a powerful symbol of restoration.”

The show, which runs through July 6, features not only the Angel but also works by a host of local artists—Robert Beckman, Nancy Good, Jerry Misko, James Stanford and Mikayla Whitmore, among many—inspired by what she represents.

“Though Willis’ ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign may be regarded as the most famous sign by people outside of the city, the Blue Angel sign holds a particular place in the hearts of many longtime locals,” said Rob McCoy, president and CEO of the Neon Museum. And it’s great to have her back, however briefly.