Be authentic and buy local art

I’m sitting at my desk, thinking about this blog I’ve wanted to write all week. Sometimes the words easily flow and other times I just have to wait. So, I sit.

And then…I looked up above my monitor and began to stare at the beautiful encaustic wax monotype print on Japanese paper by Amelia Currier. This was not my first piece by my good friend, but my third. The first was a brightly colored encaustic painting I fell in love with as soon as I saw it. In addition to the colors, I was drawn to the abstract collage of found objects she incorporated into the piece. It was much more than I could afford on my reporter’s salary 13 years ago, but we worked out a payment plan. That was the first piece of art I bought from a Reno artist. I remember how excited I was to find the perfect spot on my wall to showcase it. Unfortunately, the piece didn’t wear well over the years and cracked. The monotype above my computer was its replacement. The second piece I own by Currier I spotted at a silent auction and won by placing the highest bid.  

I now can walk the few rooms in my small home and enjoy the works of several Reno artists. Jill Glenn’s paintings never fail to take me on a far-away journey. I laugh and ponder when looking at Eunkang Koh’s characters that are part human and part animal. And now my black-girl series has grown to four paintings – a beautiful woman Ahren Hertel had in a show at Record Street Café, the silhouette of a sassy woman by Josie Luciano, a woman seated on a chair in only her white panties by Traci Turner, and Lisa Kurt’s painting of a brave little girl in the forest with the animals. And there are others.

I’m not trying to boast because I’ve walked into homes here in Reno and my mouth has dropped, admiring their local art collections. I remember sitting in Dave Aiazzi’s living room while interviewing him only to be distracted by all the magnificent art on the walls. (Thank goodness I taped the interview!) Carla Knight invited me to the home she shares with Remi Jourdan one night last year to play bunco. It was so much fun to move from room to room, enjoying the art that I didn’t mind losing my money at this game of luck.   

I’d like to think I have much in common with these friends. But there is one thing I know we definitely share and that’s our interest in buying local art. I’ve not talked to them about why they support our local artists, I only applaud them for doing so. And I applaud everyone else in Reno who is doing this. You’re keeping your money in our local economy, supporting and investing in a small business (the artist), and you own something very unique. Dorm room posters don’t need to be the start of your art collection. You are more authentic than that!

There are plenty of opportunities to buy local art and become an local arts patron. Art Spot Reno has a calendar highlighting the many art exhibits happening around town. Silent auctions at fundraisers are a great way to purchase art and support a great cause. My favorite is the Sheppard Gallery’s Valentine Auction, which is held every two years. Another great event is happening this weekend and that’s Art Blast. The 5th Annual Visual Art Blast Exhibition and Fair, held Sept. 16th and 17th at McKinley Arts & Culture Center, is an outdoor art fair put on by the City of Reno’s Arts and Culture Commission that features 19 regional artists. Roam the tents and meet the artists, whose work covers a wide variety of mediums. This is a great way to see a variety of styles and find the ones you like most.

My walls are filling up and pretty soon I’m going to have to go salon style or start rotating my art. This definitely is a first world problem that I am proud to have. I hope to see lots of people at Art Blast, either adding to their collections or purchasing their very first piece of local art. Let’s make this an important part in Reno’s art movement.

 

Geralda Miller, Art Spot Reno Curator

Geralda Miller, Art Spot Reno Curator

3 replies
  1. Nettie Oliverio
    Nettie Oliverio says:

    Totally with you, sister! When I first visited the home of my now-husband and saw he had art on his wall that had been commercially produced I was surprised. He seemed like a Real Art guy and I wondered how he got these match-my-couch pieces in his house. As I got to know him better and saw the beautiful acrylic and oil paintings he created himself, I wondered even more. Finally I came to understand that it was lack of exposure. He did, indeed, paint for his own joy and creative expression, but he didn’t know other artists whose work he could see (and purchase) and Reno didn’t have (at that time – more than 40 years ago) many outlets for local artists to show their work. So he did the next best thing – he found mass commercial pieces that spoke to him and bought and hung them. We, in our community, are SO blessed to have extraordinary artists and many venues, increasing every year, for them to display their work. Thank you, Art Spot Reno, for bringing so many of them to all of us! As in your house, there’s a story accompanying every single piece, all original, in our house today.

    Reply
    • Geralda Miller
      Geralda Miller says:

      I wholeheartedly understand lack of exposure as a reason not to have “real art.” And you’re right, we are very lucky here to have access to artists in varying mediums and price points Let’s keep making stories!

      Reply
  2. Traci L. Turner
    Traci L. Turner says:

    Thank you for the shoutout! I’m glad to say that I’m an artist in Reno. A lot of the people here really do seem to have a genuine interest in their local creatives and Art Spots. Most of my work is owned by Nevadans, Renoites in particular. There even is a lot of support and comraderie between the Reno artists, which is something that I truly cherish because it seems that it’s common for many creative scenes or communities to be very cutthroat and competitive. I often wonder if Reno will end up that way with everything growing the way that it is. Though I hope that we’ll be able to maintain the overall positive spirit.

    Reply

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