Arcadia Earth: An Art Installation Designed to Save the Planet

In the 21st century, multi-room immersive art installations are all the rage. Art lovers can view a vibrant projection of a Van Gogh painting that fills an entire room at a traveling exhibit, or walk though the door of a drink cooler at Meow Wolf’s make-believe grocery store Omega Mart in Las Vegas and enter a glowing dimension full of sights and sounds that are not of this world. Arcadia Earth— which is also located in Las Vegas—is the latest large, meticulously constructed art installation to enchant art lovers. The theme of Arcadia Earth is the beauty and fragility of planet Earth.

plastic bag nightclub

Meet us in the plastic bag nightclub. Photo courtesy: Arcadia Earth

Several factors inspired Italian artist Valentino Vettori to create an art installation that would examine how human beings impact the natural world, including how his children would view him if he did nothing to alter the course of climate change. Vettori—who has a background in fashion trade events—self-financed a smaller version of Arcadia Earth which premiered in New York City. The New York installation was such a raging success that Vettori decided to create a permanent installation in Las Vegas.

Arcadia Earth is a wonderland of synthetic caves, holographic oceans, and enormous dangling jellyfish that is designed to showcase the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world. Valentino Vettori stated that his main goal was to foster a sense of joy, wonder, and appreciation for the natural world, in lieu of the usual gloom and doom that generally accompanies discussions of our swiftly changing planet. Each exhibit features a QR code with information about how visitors can do simple things in their daily lives to preserve nature’s splendor.

Take a tunnel through the CGI aquarium. No water necessary.

Take a tunnel through the CGI aquarium. No water necessary.

Soothing sounds, undulating lights, and even the smell of fresh rain helps visitors commune with nature. One of Arcadia Earth’s most stunning pieces is a cave constructed entirely out of plastic bags, which is designed to make viewers consider how much the sheer volume of single-use plastic that human beings use impacts the natural world.

Gigantic jellyfish made from microplastics

Gigantic jellyfish made from microplastics, by Poramit Thantapalit in Arcadia Earth New York.

Unlike most Las Vegas hotspots, Arcadia Earth features a gift shop stocked with sustainable items, such as bamboo sunglasses. If the excess of Sin City is getting you down, Arcadia Earth is the ideal spot to recharge. Few things are more inspiring than a whole building full of breathtaking, innovative art and simple, realistic solutions to some of the most pressing problems of our time that will result in a brighter future for all life on Earth.

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