As the COVID-19 crisis grinds into its third year, some arts and cultural events remain scheduled in-person, but with pandemic precautions in place.
Museums, with their open spaces and high ceilings, have continued to offer new exhibits and programs. Some theaters and other venues also have reopened, with many requiring proof of vaccinations and pre-registration. In addition, many cultural events are scheduled on Zoom.
Here’s a roundup of some of the exhibits, events and shows available in January:
Nevada Museum of Art
The Nevada Museum of Art has a full calendar of events this month.
The “Summer of Soul: A Look at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival” is scheduled through Feb. 2, with a screening of the award-winning documentary “Summer of Soul” on Jan. 15. The exhibition, which features select album covers from influential Black musicians and artists who continue to inspire music today, is organized and presented by the Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society.
Over the course of six weeks during the summer of 1969, thousands of people attended the Harlem Cultural Festival to celebrate Black history, culture, music and fashion. Inspired by the Questlove film of the same title, the Nevada Museum of Art exhibition invites guests to listen to audio samples from each album by using QR codes and personal cell phones.
A conversation, entitled “An Evening of Black Springs Stories” is scheduled on Zoom Jan. 20. Join Nevada Humanities and Our Story Inc. for An Evening of Black Springs Stories, a story-focused conversation about the history of Black Springs, Nevada, a neighborhood located in the North Valleys, approximately six miles from downtown Reno.
The conversation will be moderated by Angie Taylor, president and CEO for Guardian Quest, Inc., and features Reno historian Alicia Barber and past and present residents of Black Springs including Debbie Lobster, and Helen Townsell-Parker, along with community supporters Andy Gordon and Demetrice Dalton.
A presentation and panel discussion will feature an overview of the development and growth of this area, from the 1940s to today, including the struggle and fight for basic infrastructure for the residents of Black Springs. Black families purchased homes in Black Springs — against seemingly insurmountable odds, including a lack of electricity, water, sewers, and paved roads — and began to build a lasting community. The evening will stress the importance of storytelling and the unshakable drive to build community.
“Visions from Smoke Creek,” an exhibition of paintings by Michael S. Moore, an artist known for his Nevada landscapes, is at the museum through March 6. Moore is known for his renditions of wild and remote regions, especially the Great Basin. Moore’s work addresses light, space and memory, anchored by what he describes as “more than thirty years of rattling around the desert and living to tell the tale.”
He describes his work as an attempt to conjure the “long empty country predominantly along the Nevada-Oregon border.” Smoke Creek, the area for which the Nevada Museum of Art show is named, is an arid region of northwest Nevada, near Pyramid Lake and the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Moore spends several months each year in his Nevada studio and while here, he rises each morning to paint landscape of the Smoke Creek playa.
Other current exhibitions
The paintings of Lorenzo Latimer and those of artists he mentored are on exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art through March 27. The exhibition brings together landscape paintings by the watercolor painter Lorenzo Latimer, alongside those of the artists he mentored, including Mattie S. Conner, Marguerite Erwin, Dora Groesbeck, Hildegard Herz, Nettie McDonald, Minerva Pierce, Echo Mapes Robinson, Nevada Wilson, and Dolores Samuel Young. Those artists joined together to formally found the Latimer Art Club in 1921. The Latimer Art Club is still active and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021.
The artwork of Rose B. Simpson is on display through April 17. Rose B. Simpson is a mixed-media artist whose work addresses the emotional and existential impacts of living in the 21st century, an apocalyptic time for many analogue cultures. For the Nevada Museum of Art, Simpson has created a new body of work including four abstracted monumental earthen figures of varying sizes that appear to ascend from the gallery floor.
Other art museum events
An interactive workshop on Jan. 18, “UPSTAGE: A Literary and Performing Art Series,” features National Slam Poetry Champion IN-Q. The poet was recently included on Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul 100 list of the world’s most influential thought leaders. The workshop is designed to “inspire, and challenge you to look deeper into your human experience and ask questions about your life, your environment, and the world at large.”
A talk covering the Land Art Generator Initiative at Fly Ranch is scheduled for Jan. 22. With no access to the electrical grid or other public utilities, the Burning Man Project-owned site at Fly Ranch provides an opportunity to reinvent what human settlement can aspire to be in a world that has awakened to the impacts of anthropogenic climate change and the overconsumption of natural resources.
An exhibition preview and book release and reception for “The Art of Jean LaMarr” is scheduled at the museum Jan. 28. Jean LaMarr makes art that addresses issues such as cultural stereotypes, representations of women and Native American people, and the traditions of her ancestors. Although she has worked primarily as a printmaker, she is also known for her paintings, assemblages, videos, and installation work.
“#MILLENNIAL”: dance, laughs, feats and fun
“#Millennial” (pronounced: “hashtag Millennial”), is playing at The Theater, 505 Keystone Ave. in Reno, every Friday into May. The show, organizers said, “takes audiences on a journey through the soundtrack of their favorite 1990s and 2000s throwback sounds, served-up with jaw-dropping specialty acts, energetic dance numbers, and live vocals.
Hosted by Aspen Meadows, a hilariously quick-witted drag queen, the cast envelops the audience in a fun, high-energy, production that parodies and celebrates the self-proclaimed “raddest generation” through cirque, song and dance.
Nevada history in silver
Historical Coin Press No. 1 at the Nevada State Museum, Carson City, will be minting a commemorative medallion each Saturday this month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. honoring Western explorer John C. Frémont in honor of The Pathfinder’s birthday on Jan. 21.
Frémont was an American military officer, cartographer and politician. Museum visitors may purchase a half-ounce planchet of .999 fine silver in the museum store for $75 and watch as it is minted on the historic coin press. Frémont led multiple expeditions into the American West in the mid-19th century. His 1842-1844 expedition report was used by thousands of emigrants to Oregon and California during the Gold Rush. Geographic features in Nevada that he described and named include Pyramid Lake, the Carson River, the Walker River and Las Vegas (“the meadows.”)
Donner Party presentation
“In the Footsteps of the Donner Party,” a live and virtual lecture, is scheduled at the museum and will be broadcast on Zoom beginning at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27. The lecture and slide show tells the tale of a group of families who left their homes and farms in the eastern U.S. in 1846 and stepped off into the wilderness for a 2,000-mile walk across the continent – and into history.
Presenter Frank X. Mullen, author of “The Donner Party Chronicles” (and RN&R editor) will explain the cascade of events that led to the Donner Party’s winter entrapment in the Sierra and the rescue of the survivors in the spring of 1847. It’s a tale of cannibalism and desperate survival that is raised up from depravity by the heroism of many of those trapped by the deep, beautiful and deadly snow.
Museum admission is $10 for adults; members and children aged 17 and under are free. This lecture will be presented in person and via Zoom. Registration is required. To reserve a seat at the in-person lecture go to NSMConnect. To receive the link to the Zoom presentation complete this form.
Mullen’s talk is part of the museum’s Frances Humphrey Lecture Series.