I just read the CBS Sunday morning news report about how Don Bacigalupi, president, and Chad Alligood, curator, from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., traveled more than 100,000 miles to almost 1,000 studios in 44 states on the hunt for unrecognized talent for an exhibit called “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now.”
Their mission was to find undiscovered artists across the country, to showcase in a contemporary art show.
“Wherever you come from, wherever you live, there might be a great genius artist working right next door, and if you haven’t paid attention to that, it’s worth doing,” Bacigalupi said.
Well, I couldn’t agree more!
We just held this month’s First Thursday Art Walk Reno. This event keeps getting better and better. (And I’m not just saying this because I help run it.) All you had to do was start at Liberty Fine Art Gallery and go on the walk to see the impressive variety of art that’s on display in Reno’s Downtown Arts District — 40 local and regional artists in 18 galleries and alternative venues.
Among the notables are: Bryce Chisholm, one of Reno’s hardest working artists, has work hanging in Noble Pie Parlor. Will Roger Peterson, one of the founders of the Burning Man organization, has a stirring exhibit, “Provocative Portraits” at Sierra Arts Gallery. Megan Ellis’ intricate insect studies are on display at Hub Coffee Roasters on the River. And Emily Silver’s remarkable examination of Las Vegas in “Ten Walks at the Edge of Las Vegas” is at McKinley Arts and Culture Center.
Although it would be great validation, we really don’t need Bacigalupi and Alligood to come to Reno for us to know we’ve got a vibrant arts community. But I think we need to remember what Bacigalupi said, so I repeat: “…there might be a great genius artist working right next door, and if you haven’t paid attention to that, it’s worth doing.”
We need to pay better attention to what we’ve got in Reno! We at Art Spot Reno truly believe this. We’ve even changed our Art Walk slogan because of it – More Art Everywhere.
After reading the CBS report, I perused the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to learn more about the exhibit. I found out that in conjunction with the exhibit, the museum held The Summit at Crystal Bridges: Insights from a Changing America.” I wish I would have been able to attend this sold-out conference. The who’s-who list of attendees included policy-makers, educators, business people, artists, and museum professionals. Former Pres. Bill Clinton was a guest speaker. He said:
“The ability of democratizing the arts — making it available to more people, and giving people a chance to develop their own talents — will be one of the most important strategies we can pursue to build a future we can all share and live with.”
Don’t take my word for it. Drive downtown, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and check out all the art. There’s More Art Everywhere!!