Harry Reid

The artist and the senator: One built a desert masterpiece, the other a Nevada legacy

The artist and the senator: One built a desert masterpiece, the other a Nevada legacy

When Sen. Harry Reid heard about a reclusive artist building a massive land sculpture across desolate acres in the Nevada desert, he knew they should meet.

It’s not just that Reid enjoys eccentrics and fighters, which he does. Michael Heizer had found an unusual way to express the majesty — and artistry — of the same lonely Nevada landscape that formed Reid’s childhood, when he would escape the dismal, rugged conditions of tiny Searchlight to play in the desert’s hidden springs and abandoned fortresses.

Both men discovered in Nevada what many outsiders miss. Far from seeing a nuclear wasteland, a...

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