Las Vegas:In a press release on March 10, MGM Mirage revealed plans to incorporate a $40 million fine art program into the plans for their CityCenter project. Expected to open in the fall of 2009, CityCenter Las Vegas will be “one of the world’s largest environmentally sustainable urban communities” according to Wikipedia. Not content with that distinction, MGM is determined to further mark CityCenter from the surrounding themed resorts by also making it a cultural center for the art world.

The artists that have been included are some of the most influential artists of this age. Many of the pieces that will be installed at CityCenter have been commissioned specifically for the project while several existing works were also purchased. Pieces have been chosen for artistic value as well as cultural significance and many incorporate the environmental consciousness shown in other areas of the project.

Each CityCenter building in the over $8 billion dollar development is designed to be certified by the Green Building Council for the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design program. In keeping with those environmentally friendly goals, many of the art works include inspiration from nature and recycled materials in the pieces. MGM Mirage’s president, Jim Murren, states “ We’re going to create an art program that will be important on a global scale, that will have some meaning to Nevada, that will have some meaning to the environmental sensitivities we’re trying to accomplish here”.

Known for her strong interest and commitment to the environment, artist Maya Lin will be creating a 120-foot silver cast of the Colorado River for the art program. She will be using reclaimed silver to in tribute to Nevada being the Silver State as well as for environmental reasons. As visitors approach The Harmon Hotel, they will be greeted by artist Jenny Holzer’s work in her signature medium which is a 387-foot long LED sign sculpture. Veer Towers will also feature two commissioned works by Richard Long, called Circle of Life and Earth.

Existing pieces already purchased for the CityCenter program include one of artist Frank Stella’s most famous works entitled Damascus Gate I which was created in 1969. A funkier piece that will be installed is entitled Typewriter Eraser, Scale X which was a signature piece of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The pair are known for creating huge outdoor sculptures of commercial objects and have collaborated on over 40 projects throughout the world.

This is the first time in Las Vegas history that any artist of this quality has created a new work of art specifically for Las Vegas so that is significant in itself. Chairman and CEO of MGM Mirage, Terry Lanni, gives an eloquent description of the ambitious goals that MGM hopes to achieve with the new project. “CityCenter will be an international architectural achievement that integrates the talents of world-renowned artists, architects and designers in one development; it will be a landmark of global taste and style. Terry goes on to state “the CityCenter Fine Art Program will be the first initiative of its kind to merge public and corporate interests on this grand scale”.