HILLARY SCHIEVE, THE mayor of Reno, Nevada, takes my arm before we jaywalk across the street from City Hall. She continues clutching it as we traverse the gritty public plaza on the other side, and does not let go until we reach the foot, or rather fin, of our destination: a hulking steel and stained-glass sculpture of a humpback whale nuzzling its calf. Its name is the Space Whale. In 2016 a team led by artist Matt Schultz created it for Burning Man, the annual festival held a few hours north of the city, as a means of drawing awareness to “our hypocrisy toward protecting the oceans,” he tells me later. After the festival, the city leased the sculpture for $64,000.
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