The local art scene is bursting at the seams this year. There’s an ambitious new venue in the works. The first-ever major art fair was a hit, and the second one is already on the calendar. There’s a new awards program, new public art, and lots more news.
Immersive artspace rising on Keystone Ave.
Back in June, five creative entrepreneurs—Tyler Hanson, Kurt Kaull, Rob Dolezal, Breck Dolan and Shane Dolan—purchased the long-empty warehouse at 265 Keystone Ave., where the Holland Project first opened in 2007. The property includes almost 20,000 square feet of interior space and 3.6 acres of outdoor space. The team is in the process of converting the building and lot into an immersive artspace that will cater to locals and tourists, including families, kids and seniors.
The partners are among the founders of Grand Artique, a company that builds festival stages and immersive art exhibitions, formerly based in San Diego and now headquartered in Reno. They have collectively worked on projects such as Lightning in a Bottle, Symbiosis, South by Southwest, Coachella and Meow Wolf.
The Reno venue’s name is not yet set in stone, but organizers recommend following Grand Artique’s Facebook page and @grandartique on Instagram for upcoming local news. The target opening date is spring 2023.
Burning Man Decompression slated Oct. 15
Although the Keystone Avenue artspace isn’t scheduled to open until 2023, visitors can get a glimpse of the property on Oct. 15, from 2 to 10 p.m., when Reno Burners holds its Decompression event. “For those people who were not able to go out (to Burning Man), this is going to give them a small taste of what the local Burner scene is like,” said co-organizer Lauren Hufft. In keeping with the tradition of regional Burning Man groups around the world, locals will set up art cars, theme camps and a DJ stage. Neighboring watering hole Shanty Dolan’s will set up a bar, and food trucks will sell lunch and dinner.
Reno Decompression is a fundraiser for the Reno Arts Grants, a microgrant program that welcomes applications from Burners and non-Burners alike. Recipients have included, for example, local theater groups. The event will be at 265 Keystone Ave. Admission is $20 at the door; no advance ticket sales. Details are on the Reno Decompression Facebook page. To volunteer for the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NMA admission free for UNR, TMCC students
The Nevada Museum of Art began offering free admission to students at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Truckee Meadows Community College on Sept. 15. Students can now present an ID from either institution to access the galleries, Art Bite talks and First Thursday events. The program is funded by a $2 million endowment from museum trustee Wayne Prim.
Newest public art is not downtown
Years ago, the city of Reno announced that public art shouldn’t only exist in tourist-heavy neighborhoods; it should also brighten up neighborhoods frequented by locals. This past summer, the Reno Arts and Culture Commission unveiled a few new public-art pieces placed outside of downtown and midtown.
A mural by Asa Gilmore, designed to honor the Reno Fire Department and the National Championship Air Races, is now on the doors of Reno Fire Station 9 in the North Valleys, and there are three new bike racks by Mike Burke—two on West Fourth Street, and one, shaped like a piñata-style burro, on the corner of Cheney Street and Wells Avenue.
Art fair was a hit (and it’s on again in 2023)
The Reno Tahoe International Art Show, which took place Sept. 8-11 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, was a vibrant cornucopia of visual arts, music and film from Reno-Tahoe and beyond—the likes of which our region’s art scene has not, until now, reached a large enough critical mass to pull off.
Artists and galleries from near and far showcased just about everything from Sunday paintings to contemporary urban pop to Burning Man sculptures fresh from the playa. It was a rare opportunity to see members of the various local art communities—including the Holland Project, University Galleries, TMCC, the Sierra Watercolor Society and The Generator—all in the same place, and an even rarer chance to see Indigenous artists from New Mexico and Arizona, a curatorial group from Los Angeles, and furniture designers from all over.
The next RTIA is slated for Sept. 7-10, 2023. Applications for exhibitors will open in December. To join the email list, visit the Reno Tahoe International Art Show website at www.rtiashow.com.
RTIA announces Reno Tahoe Artist Awards
One of the many RTIA sub-events was the new Reno Tahoe Artist Awards program. Winners were announced at a gala on Sept. 10 at the Nevada Museum of Art. Grand prize winner Denise Klitsie received the Reno Creative Movement Award, which came with a $5,000 cash prize. Each of the following artists was awarded $1,000:
- Ruby Barrientos—Excellence in Fine Art and Mixed Media
- Denise Klitsie—Excellence in Fine Art in Oil and Acrylic
- Jordyn Owens—Excellence in Fine Art in Photography
- Candace Garlock—Excellence in Fine Art in Sculpture & 3-D Artworks
- Peter Whittenberger—Excellence in Fine Art in Digital Media
- Anela deLaveaga—Excellence in Bespoke Furniture and Lighting
- Ronnie Rector—Excellence in Fine Art in Watercolor
For more visual arts news from around the state from Kris Vagner and collaborators, visit www.doublescoop.art and sign up for the email list.