This Bizarre Art Piece In The Desert Broadcasts A Message Of Spiritual Love

Posted in Featured
at 2015.11.24
With 0 Comments

If you”re driving through the barren desert of southern California near the Salton Sea, past the town of Niland, you might see something strange and colorful rising out of the sands. Located near the officially unofficial campground of Slab City, home of the offbeat and the weird, this monument fits right in with the surreal desert experience. This is Salvation Mountain, an art installation and labor of love of one man.

Salvation Mountain is an art installation constructed of straw bales and adobe, adorned with bright messages.

Salvation Mountain is an art installation constructed of straw bales and adobe, adorned with bright messages.

Salvation Mountain was created by Leonard Knight, a resident of the area who wanted to share his Christian faith with the world through art.

Salvation Mountain was created by Leonard Knight, a resident of the area who wanted to share his Christian faith with the world through art.

His mountain is covered in prayers, Bible verses, and messages of love and peace. It started as a small monument to his faith, and then Knight just kept building. The monument became a mountain. In the first four years, the mountain collapsed due to a weak structure, but Knight wasn”t discouraged. Instead, he was thankful that the structurally unsafe mountain was felled, because he was able to build a better one.

Take a tour of Salvation Mountain with the man himself in this video:

Originally, Knight”s plan was to create a hot air balloon with his messages on it, but the balloon failed after 14 years of labor and planning. He was going to leave, but something compelled him to construct a monument. The rest is history.

Salvation Mountain as seen from a satellite.

Salvation Mountain as seen from a satellite.

The installation, which has come to be considered a folk art monument, draws visitors regularly and has become a major attraction in the Slab City area. It”s been declared a folk art site by the Folk Art Society of America, and was deemed a “national treasure” by California Senator Barbara Boxer.

Thousands of gallons of paint were used to create Salvation Mountain.

Thousands of gallons of paint were used to create Salvation Mountain.

The paintings spill over from the artificial mountain and onto some surrounding surfaces, like this mailbox and several old cars and trucks.

Empty paint cans are a common sight here.

Empty paint cans are a common sight here.

Knight estimated that he used about 100,000 gallons of paint on his work of art.

Leonard Knight passed away in 2014 at the age of 83, after three decades of building, painting, and keeping Salvation Mountain. Today, volunteers from across the country come to maintain Salvation Mountain, giving it fresh coats of bright paint and making sure Knight”s messages are still legible and clear. Visitors to the site also donate cans of paint to keep Salvation Mountain shining.

A volunteer touches up part of the mountain.

A volunteer touches up part of the mountain.

Salvation Mountain remains a tourist attraction in the strange and dreamy desert lands. Thanks to the volunteers and to donations through its website, this incredible piece of art, a testament to one man”s spiritual love and dedication, is as bright and bold as ever. If you”re in California and you”d like to see something a little quirkier than the usual attractions, you”ll definitely want to check this out.

For more tourist attractions that are a little weirder than your standard ones, you need to plan a trip to these places:

Comments are closed.