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Mural depicts Blue Angel flying over downtown Las Vegas

Updated July 8, 2019 - 9:40 am

For over six decades, she watched over downtown Las Vegas. Now, the Blue Angel is ascending to heights higher than ever.

The 16-foot tall figure who once stood perched on the Blue Angel Motel was taken down in 2017 for renovations.

Now Las Vegas artist James Stanford is commemorating her with “A Phalanx of Angels Ascending,” a 2,000-square-foot mural that portrays her in fantastical poses.

The Blue Angel was last on display at “Blue Angel: Between Heaven and Earth,” an exhibit at the Neon Museum’s warehouse space at Ne10 Studio on West Bonanza Road. Currently, she is undergoing restoration.

She was created by Betty Willis, the artist who created the famed “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

The statue has inspired other artists to create their own interpretations, many of which were on display at the exhibit’s opening reception.

The mural will portray a phalanx of Blue Angels soaring skyward across the 705 building (705 Las Vegas Blvd. North), their jet rockets leaving trails of blue flames. On another wall, she emerges from a shell in the impression of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.

Street artist Cliff “Airbrushing” Morris is executing Stanford’s vision.

The installation began over a month ago and is expected to be completed across three walls by the end of July.

“Willis’ ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign may be regarded as the most famous sign by people outside of the city,” says Rob McCoy, president and CEO of the Neon Museum, according to a news release. “The Blue Angel sign holds a particular place in the hearts of many longtime locals.”

Contact Janna Karel at jkarel@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jannainprogress on Twitter.

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