Salvation Mountain… “a unique and visionary sculpture…a national treasure…profoundly strange and beautifully accessible, and worthy of the international acclaim it receives.” Barbara Boxer

 Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version. Thank you! Steve Sparks
 
 
Salvation Mountain is an art installation covering a hill north of
Calipatria, California, near Slab City and just several miles from the Salton Sea. It is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint. It was created by local resident Leonard Knight, and encompasses numerous murals and areas painted with Christian sayings and Bible verses.[1] The Folk Art Society of America declared it a “a folk art site worthy of preservation and protection”[2] in the year 2000. In an address to the United States Congress on May 15, 2002, California Senator Barbara Boxer described it as “a unique and visionary sculpture…a national treasure…profoundly strange and beautifully accessible, and worthy of the international acclaim it receives.”[3]

Salvation Mountain Folk Art & Faith…

Preservation & Sustainability of Salvation Mountain…



Welcome Sign

Salton Sea

 

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A relaxing drive south on Hwy 111 from Palm Springs past the Salton Sea we observed an area once enjoyed by celebrities and tourist alike.  The further south we drove toward Mexico we were feeling like Palm Springs was on the other side of the planet, yet just over 50 miles north.  The landscape changed dramatically, looking more like a 3rd world country.  Buildings, homes, and old deserted resort areas made us wonder what happened to this once popular escape to the beaches of Salton Sea.  We are told that the big stars who settled in Palm Springs following WWII used to come here to experience a tropical like South Pacific climate but without the humidity.  This was a time when the Salton Sea was much deeper and less salty.  There were water sports and fishing, including beach party hang outs along the shores now run down and deserted far inland from where the shore used to be.

Once we passed the Salton Sea we came to what appeared in the distance as a huge man-made sculpture with bright colors and a biblical theme.  An absolutely stunning work of art… It is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint. It was created by local resident Leonard Knight, and encompasses numerous murals and areas painted with Christian sayings and Bible verses.[1] The Folk Art Society of America declared it a “a folk art site worthy of preservation and protection”[2] in the year 2000.”  Mr. Knight is now 83 and unable to live at the site and keep it preserved and maintained.  He spent 30 years of his life passionately sculpting Salvation Mountain as a way to practicing and committing to his Christian faith.  A labor of love indeed…and “mindfulness” for those interested in the therapy value of Leonard’s experience…

Mr. Knight turned Salvation Mountain into a 501c3 non-profit as a way to preserve his legacy and the folk art significance of the popular site near Slab City.  One of the volunteer site workers living there explained to me that they are trying to buy the property separate from Slab City and raise money to hire more permanent on-site work teams who share and commit a period of time to stay on-site….  “Site Managers & Docents Wanted! 
Retired? Traveling? and willing to live at the mountain for awhile? We are actively seeking individuals and/or couples who might be live-in care takers at the mountain.”

 
 

  

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