As 2023 gets under way, here’s what’s happening behind the scenes—and out in the sunshine—in local art news. There are new grant winners, a new outdoor sculpture installation, a chance to get involved in the arts on the local-government level—and more.
New outdoor art in Somersett
Reno’s newest public art installation is a trio of colorful steel sculptures of hot air balloons by Mike Burke, a local artist who has designed and fabricated several creative bike racks and other outdoor art pieces. The new installation, Rising Together, was created to celebrate the Great Reno Balloon Race, held each September. The 14-foot-tall balloons, each a different color, are in Somersett West Park, located on Hawk Meadow Trail, off of Somersett Parkway.
Photographer Nolan Preece featured in new book
Retired Truckee Meadows Community College Art Prof. Nolan Preece is featured in the new how-to book The Experimental Darkroom by Christina Z. Anderson, a professor of art photography at Montana State University. You can find Preece’s work in the chapter on “chemigrams,” about a process of camera-less images made using light-sensitive chemicals in the darkroom, which he helped pioneer.
City of Reno arts and culture grants announced
On Dec. 14, the Reno City Council approved $76,265 in arts and culture grants to arts nonprofits for 2023 projects. The recipients are:
- KWNK Reno Community Radio (Reno Bike Project)—$5,897.50
- The Holland Project—$5,740
- Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts—$5,722.50
- Reno Chamber Orchestra—$5,635
- Note-Able Music Therapy Services—$5,600
- Arts for All Nevada—$5,512.50
- Reno Little Theater—$5,425
- Nevada Gay Men’s Chorus—$5,390
- Sierra Nevada Ballet—$5,390
- Reno Philharmonic Association—$5,320
- Reno Jazz Orchestra—$5,320
- Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival—$5,250
- A.V.A. Ballet Theatre—$5,092.50
- Northern Nevada Rural Concert Initiative—$4,970
High tech basketry display open in Nixon
In November, the University of Nevada’s University Libraries expanded its Virtual Museum of Native American Basketry project with the opening of a new virtual-reality kiosk at the Pyramid Lake Museum and Visitors Center in Nixon.
The “virtual museum” is a collection of 3-D scans of 100-plus baskets by weavers from more than 25 Indigenous tribes. Using VR headsets, users can wander through a museum that only exists digitally, and virtually “pick up” baskets, turn them over, and inspect them from all angles.
To create the basketry VR collection, the digital media team worked with other institutions, including UNR’s Anthropology Research Museum, home to a large collection of historical baskets; the Nevada Historical Society, which lent access to baskets by Northern Nevada’s best-known 19th-and-20th-century Washoe weaver, Dat So La Lee; and the Nevada State Museum, which provided access to works by the contemporary Paiute-Shoshone artist Rebecca Eagle.
The Virtual Museum of Native American Basketry can also be accessed at University Libraries’ @One Digital Media and Technology Center on the first floor of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.
City of Reno seeks new Public Art Committee members
The city of Reno Arts and Culture Commission is seeking new members for its Public Art Committee.
Members serve on a volunteer basis. Duties include reviewing artist submissions, approving calls for artists, and identifying new potential public art projects. The committee meets monthly for up to two hours, and committee members are expected to invest two to six additional hours each month. To apply, fill out the form on the city’s Boards and Commissions page.