The Downtown Spark

New art installation catches fire at Las Vegas Boulevard and Ogden Avenue

Ever notice how you can’t take your eyes off a flame? Captivating, universal and inspiring, fire makes us want to stare, and stare is exactly what the Downtown Project wants people to do more of when they’re at the corner of Ogden and Las Vegas Boulevard, where the beginnings of a new fire-art installation will give the neighborhood one more layer of culture and allure.

The Tree of Life project was designed by LiveSpark, a 5-year-old company that builds art featuring fire elements in public places (past projects include a glorious hanging installation for Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco that folks can interactively program with a smartphone app). Founder and 15-year fire-artist veteran Brett Bond, along with colleagues Erik Walker and Nick Dong, has created a Tree of Life streetlight at the intersection with six flower-like flame effects. Another couple dozen streetlights will soon ring the ‘Llama Lot,’ a parking lot at Ninth and Fremont Streets that’s often home to art installations.

“In a way, they demarcate what areas have been touched by [Downtown Project’s] creative energy,” says Bond, a Downtown resident.

The project will culminate with a future, large-scale, fire-breathing Tree of Life featuring desert flowers of the Mojave … all of which mean a quick glance out your window while driving north along I-15 will offer a whole new fiery visage.