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The Story Of Mimilou

When I was a freshman in high school, my final task in scouting was to complete my Girl Scout Gold Award. I listened to a presentation from Sherri Grotheer, a partner of the Protectors of Tule Springs, and it truly inspired me. I saw something that I had never seen

before in my hometown. I could see a vision of a park that can bring this diverse community together to celebrate education, sustainability, and the importance of protecting the past. I also saw how much hard work goes into protecting land for the next generation to enjoy. Growing up in the Las Vegas Valley, there wasn’t much keeping me grounded into the community.

The Tule Springs Fossil Beds were covered with trash and debris for miles and miles along with illegal shooting and RV treks that destroys the many fossils the park aims to preserve. That is when the initial concept came to life; to create a physical representation of the struggle of protecting the past with the carelessness of the present, for the future generations to enjoy.

The first step was to find an artist who knew how to create a

life-sized mammoth skeleton, that

was built to last. I had never worked in metal, or even anything

remotely to scale.

With the help of Pam Stuckey at

Renewable Envoy, we were connected with Luis Varela-Rico. We bonded over our love of Voltzwaglons and gave me the first indication that this dream could become a reality.

From teaching me to weld, using

CAD software, to designing the

internal structure, Luis was the best teacher and mentor. I am so grateful to have been able

to work together.

Finding the perfect location for the mammoth was a huge part of the puzzle. I had many meetings with the City of North Las Vegas as well as presented at City Hall. Thank you to the entire council, State pa

rks, and other government entities for all the time, encouragement, support and guidance. We have the amazing opportunity to install the mammoth as Ice Age Fossils State Park in Fall 2022. If you are interested, please RSVP at the bottom of the page.

As the Mammoth's creation was in the works, we were connected to the amazing artist Dana Albany. She has such a talent for creating

beautiful ornamental art pieces from recycled materials. We have spent lots of time at the BOX Shop in the SF Bay where I learned about all of the metalworking tools and got to meet some amazing friends

and mammoth supporters who

joined us on our journey!

I am so lucky to have had

the opportunity to work with Dana. I have so many fond memories going through old antique parts figuring out how

we should arrange them. WhileDana was out in Vegas, she suggested that we put in an application for a grant to have the mammoth featured at Burning Man 2019.

Burning Man

On February 2019, we received the Honorarium Grant, It is such an amazing honor for my first work to be on display to such a prestigious event. I was so happy and excited!

This award granted us special placement at the Burning Man event, which allowed for more visibility and chances to interact with participants.

I also had the chance to speak at the Desert Arts Preview.

Burning Man was such a blast. Not only did the mammoth have thousands of visitors from all over the world, but the other art pieces were all so amazing! I loved meeting

fellow teams and artists

setting up their amazing work.

Our team fondly remembers to watching the most crazy beautiful mammoth sunrises as well as meet incredible people. I am very very honored to have been included in the event. It was truly Metamorphic.

Life is Beautiful

Immediately after the Burning Man event, Life is Beautiful

festival asked if we could bring Mimilou to be a central piece for the event. I have loved attending this event since I was little so this hit home for me.

Through the entire process, we had so many loving helping hands that guided the Mammoth from conception to reality. I am so grateful. Thank you for making this a reality. I am looking forward to the day children from the Las Vegas valley have the opportunity to visit the National Monument and experience the park that inspired me so much. Any thing is possible!

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GoFundMe for the Monumental Mammoth

I have just created a GoFundMe where you can help us fundraise to our goal of $80,000 for the fabrication of the exterior skin! Every donation penny will help us immensely 🙂

1 comentário

Monique Neugebauer
Monique Neugebauer
15 de jan. de 2022

I am so impressed with your initiative, follow through, and collaboration with all the right people to have realized your vision. Kudos!

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