Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Here it is—the Best of Northern Nevada 2018. In this heavyweight edition of the RN&R, we honor the best people, places and things in our community. The hot and heavy BONN action starts on page 12.

But I want to start this issue off with a couple of shout-outs.

Jaxon Northon, the artist who painted this year’s BONN artwork, is one of my favorite people on the planet. We’ve been friends for decades, and he’s been on my dream list of artists for the BONN project since I started working at the RN&R. I was elated when he agreed to tackle it this year and really enjoyed working with him. I love his iconic, personal, funny, funky, gorgeous, insightful portraits.

He’ll have the original paintings on display at Chapel Tavern on Aug. 18. Don’t miss it. His work is featured on this week’s cover and throughout this issue. There’s a promo with more information about the exhibition on page 40.

I also want to take a minute to give some props to our arts editor, Kris Vagner. Kris is leaving the RN&R to be a full-time graduate student and instructor at the University of Nevada, Reno this fall. And although we hope it won’t be long before her name reappears in our pages as a freelancer, we’ll miss having her here in the office on a regular basis.

She wrote award-winning stories here. And in addition to her terrific arts reporting, she also wrote fantastic stories about key parts of our community—particularly our LGBT, native and teenage neighbors. We wish her nothing but the best. Check out a fine example of Kris’ arts writing prowess in this week’s Art of the State column on page 49.

And you can even read a conversation between Kris and Jaxon—two of Reno’s very best—on page 67.

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