Art Spot Reno is excited to announce the inaugural Reno Mural Expo in downtown Reno from October 13 -15. Art Spot Reno is partnering with Whitney Peak Hotel, Orchard House Foundation and the City of Reno to bring 20 artists, including two international artists, eight national artists, and 10 local artists to create new murals. International artists from South Africa and the Netherlands will join artists from the Bay Area, the Navajo Nation, Seattle, St. Petersburg, Fla., Los Angeles, and northern Nevada. A full list of the artists and their biographies can be viewed below.
“Reno is a city full of hidden gems, but still has large pockets of abandoned buildings and blight. The inaugural Reno Mural Expo will brighten and revitalize areas of downtown washing walls with color and positive messaging.” said Eric Brooks, festival organizer.
Covering approximately 20,000 square feet of wall space, this festival brings artists using a diverse array of styles of mural art, including abstract, photo realistic, illustrative, graffiti, paintbrush, airbrush, roller brush, wheat paste and stencil. Artist educator Peter Whittenberger will be featuring a special digital projection for the event.
In addition to bringing new murals to Reno, the Expo will include:
- artist lectures and a film screening
- design and technique workshops
- docent-led mural tours
- entertainment scheduled in local art, music and theater venues
Edythe Boone – Master of Ceremonies – Oakland, CA
Edythe Boone, 79 years old, is an African-American artist and activist. She has worked as a muralist, counselor, and art teacher throughout her life in an under-served area in California. She is well known for the many murals she has painted. She started with her painted murals on each floor of a building in Harlem, New York and her work has expanded through the years to one of her most notable projects, designing and painting the Women’s Building mural in San Francisco, California.
She is the aunt of Eric Garner, an African American man who was choked to death by New York Police Department officers. His death lead to protests and in part catalyzed the Black Lives Matter movement.
Collin Van der Sluijs – Netherlands
Collin van der Sluijs is a renowned painter and illustrator from Maastricht, The Netherlands, where he lives and works. He started writing graffiti at the age of eleven, and when he was twelve he began his studies at the professional painting college in Goes. He spent the next eight years studying various art disciplines in different schools across the Netherlands and graduated from the Academy of Art and Design St. Joost in Breda in 2004 with a Masters degree in fine art.
He is widely recognized for his extraordinary dream-like depictions of everyday stories that question our personal pleasures and struggles, as well as society at large.
Collin’s exceptional work has been published in magazines and books, and shown in galleries across the world—in The Netherlands, Germany, France, England, Belgium, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, and USA.
Ricky Lee Gordon – Cape Town, South Africa
Ricky is a self-taught artist born in Johannesburg South Africa in 1984 .Having lived and worked in Cape Town he moved to LA in 2016 to study classical painting. He is well known for his large-scale murals that can be seen in cities all over the world, from New York to Istanbul and Madagascar to Kathmandu. Ricky has been inspired by his experience in mediation and Buddhist Dharma (law of nature) and therefore now his paintings explore the nature of non-duality and interconnectedness focusing on bringing to light relevant social issues. His intention with his murals is to create artwork that has a connection to the people and place in which he is painting.
Ricky only started painting full time in 2014 having his first solo show in 2015. Before this he was focused on curatorial and creative activism; founding /A WORD OF ART gallery and artist residency in addition to the Colour Ikamva school rejuvenation project.
Sebastian Coolidge – St. Petersburg, FL
If you don’t already know of Sebastian Coolidge, chances are you know his work. As one of the most prolific artists in St. Pete, his massive paintings have played a part in shaping the visual language of the downtown area. A modern conscious creative, Sebastian’s body of work is largely mural-based, but he also works in functional sculptures and furniture, fully immersive interior design, obscure designer clothing, restaurant and hotel design, and has an interest in future sustainable technologies. With a deep connection to the natural and man-made world around him, Sebastian’s future goals include creating cities that thrive off renewable and sustainable resources, while simultaneously using highly creative design to organically and harmoniously fuse to their surroundings.
Troy Lovegates – San Francisco, CA
Troy Lovegates, once known as Other, began to make his presence known in the North American boxcar pool. Working with conventional oil bars used by previous generations, Troy applied not only black or white when he drew, but used both to create distorted, well-rendered characters. What made Troy’s work really stand out was the textured faces achieved by shading using only his fingers. Inspired by the rails, they are unlike anything else. As Troy remarks, “Trains are amazing like that. All that work and history just fades into oblivion. It is hearsay. Bonfire tales and great stories off into the night air.” – Austin McManus via Juxtapoz
Joshua Coffy – San Francisco, CA
Joshua Coffy is a self-taught artist living and working in San Francisco. He grew up in a variety of locales from Ohio to New Mexico to Florida and finally California. Moving from one region to another helped to shape his cultural views of the world as well as inspire him to create art in unique and varied ways. Coffy draws inspiration for his mixed media paintings from the natural world, scientific illustrations and his love of animals. Josh’s work includes many layers of textures including paper patterns, maps, newspaper articles, and acrylic paint. Much of his work deals with animals and how humans relate to the birds and mammals all around us. His work is usually a light-hearted and whimsical approach to our ideals about animals. He has created a sense of symbolism and meaning with many of the images he paints. Illustrating the conversation between man and beast with a wink and stillness for you to make your own decisions about what the image is saying.
Joshua shows his work primarily in various galleries in San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland and the greater Bay Area. He also has created a few community based murals for events such as NoisePop’s 20th St. Block Party, the SF Marathon and the Treasure Island Music Festival. Other times he can be found ‘Live Painting’ at several great music venues like Brick & Mortar, The Great American Music Hall, and Public Works. In 2014, Joshua’s painting ‘Young Family Walking Through It All’ was selected to represent ArtSpan’s SF Open Studios for their Open Studios Guide Book. ArtSpan prints 20,000 of these guide books that list artists participating in the nation’s oldest and largest open studios program. In 2015, Joshua’s art was picked by a jury to represent ArtSpan in their ‘Selections 2015’ show at their Inaugural Benefactor Gala.
Kyler Martz – Seattle, WA
Kyler Martz is a Seattle based illustrator, muralist, and tattoo artist, who mixes nautical, old-world, and organic themes to create unique icons from our storied past.
Dr. Chip Thomas – Navajo Nation, AZ
The question I’m asked most frequently is how a black doctor in his 50s working on the Navajo reservation started doing street art on said reservation. In retrospect, it was only natural for this evolution to occur.
I started working in a small community between the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley called Inscription House in 1987. I’d always been drawn to photography and built a darkroom shortly after my arrival on the Navajo Nation. My passion photographically is shooting black and white in a documentary style inspired by people like Eugene Smith, Eugene Richards, Joseph Koudelka and others. By going out and spending time with people in their homes and family camps, I have come to know them as friends. Interestingly, these home visits enhance my doctor/patient relationship by helping me be a more empathetic health care practitioner.
I’ve always been drawn to street art, graffiti and old school hip-hop. I was attracted to the energy of the culture in the 80s and though I was miles away from the epicenter, I thought of myself as a charter member of the Zulu Nation. I would travel to New York City to see graffiti on trains, on buildings and in galleries. I did some tagging in the 80s before coming to the Navajo Nation and participated with a major billboard “correction” on the reservation shortly after my arrival.
MAX RIPO – Los Angeles, CA
Max Rippon is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores the impact and nuances of textual communication through language, forms, and symbols. Leveraging his study and love of painting, drawing, printmaking, calligraphy, graffiti, and sign painting, as well as new digital fabrication techniques, he has worked prolifically for years in the public space and in his studio practice.
Rippon has shown his work internationally with solo exhibitions in Basel, Portland, San Francisco, Barcelona, Cologne, Brussels, and London as well as participating in curated group shows from New York City to Romania. He has created murals and other public works in cities, remote villages, and abandoned structures across 36 countries in three continents
Erik Burke – Reno, NV
Erik Burke (b. 1978) lives in Reno, NV and creates place-specific murals throughout the world. His latest work can be seen in Korea, Italy, Norway, and closer to home in Reno. His work has been published in the book ‘Street Art; The Best Urban Art from Around the World’, ‘Outdoor Gallery’, The Huffington Post, Village Voice, and the NYTimes. He enjoys time with his family and living where there are NO mosquitos.
Joe C. Rock – Reno, NV
Joe C. Rock is a fine art muralist with an emphasis on street art,graffiti, cartooning and realism combining them all to create extraordinary works of art. He came with his mother to Reno when he was 8 years old. He always enjoyed drawing, but didn’t begin to feel the pull of the artist’s life until his late teens. His beginnings were primarily illegal graffiti lettering with his older cousin and friends. Rock is now one of Reno’s premier muralists.
Arthur Bryce Chisholm is an artist born in the Biggest Little City in the World, Reno, Nevada. Bryce attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where under the guidance of Michael Sarich, his art began to grow. Exploring many subjects from history, Bryce has always had a fond liking for undervalued beauty. Finding the best parts fo a dirty city has led to his love of graffiti and street art. The message graffiti can get across is very powerful to Bryce and inspires him to push his art in ways that portray real human emotions with a raw street feel.
Mike Lucido – Reno, NV
Mike Lucido is a working artist/illustrator from Reno, NV.
Nathaniel Benjamin – Reno, NV
In his childhood, Nathaniel Benjamin‘s family moved throughout the US, spending the most time in the Midwest. He studied graphic design in Flagstaff, AZ, then took three year hiatus to explore America by bicycle. In 2013 he settled in Reno, NV, where he currently studies art, his lifelong passion. In addition to being a student in printmaking at UNR, he is a sign painter, muralist and chalk artist for local businesses.
Asa Kennedy – Reno, NV
Asa Kennedy was born in a trailer on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico. No records are available as to whether or not lightning struck that night. As the millennium came to close, Asa moved to Portland, Oregon to attend a private Liberal Arts college with the focus of acquiring a degree in fine arts. Two semesters were plenty of time to understand that this bill could not be paid. He remained in Portland for nine years continuing to hone a painting craft. Asa was a member of the Portland Mural Defense, a group dedicated to rewrite zoning laws in partnership with the city of Portland to allow mural painting more accessibility.
“Along with maintaining a studio painting practice, I am a mural artist with vested interest in public works. Outside Walls become a gallery which reach a larger audience and more importantly, belong to the community. From my experience, mural painting always activates dialogue, fosters new relationships, and literally changes the urban landscape. The latter bringing inspiration to neighborhoods under social duress where residents can witness a physical change that leaves a positive landmark.”
Emily Reid – Reno, NV
Along with being an artist, Emily is an arts educator and mother living and working in Reno. Her work brings light, whimsy and a sense of creative play.
Lisa Kurt – Reno, NV
Lisa Kurt is an artist and illustrator living and working in Reno, NV since 2008. She grew up and lived in the Boston area, receiving her BFA in illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art.
Lisa works primarily with acrylics and mixed media on canvas or wood panels; her work integrates maps and other ephemera within her paintings. Through her work, she explores stories that involve people, animals, and creatures in mysterious settings, often incorporating nature and the unexpected. Her work entails traces of nostalgia, melancholy, and whimsical facets that allow a bit of mystery to remain. Lisa’s work focuses on themes surrounding childhood, nature, memory, stories, mythologies, allegory, and dreams.
J Darragh – Reno, NV
J Darragh is a working artist living in Reno, NV.
Stephane Cellier – Virginia City, NV
Born and raised in France, Stephane Cellier was surrounded by art and culture from an early age. Passionate about drawing and painting, Cellier graduated in 1991 from the prestigious French Fine Art School, Ecoles Nationale des Beaux Arts. He also studied under Andre Fish, official copyist of the Museum of le Louvre, and became a member of the society, Les Amis Du Louvre. This background gave him the opportunity to create his own unique style, mixing classical techniques from the old French Masters to modern themes. He currently lives with his wife and son in Virginia City, NV.
Native of Alicante (Spain), artist Rafael Blanco has focused, during the past years, on critical subjects like illegal immigration and American patriotism. Identity and human expression are relentlessly present in his pieces, which tend to question the nature of our society. Blanco earned his MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) at the University of Nevada, Reno where he became associated faculty. Since 2014, Blanco became the Art program Coordinator at Feather River College, where he currently teaches diverse Studio and Art History courses. Even though he was classically trained as a studio artist, Public Art has become, in recent years, one of his main purposes in his creative process. The challenge of creating massive scale paintings in public spaces motivates him to experiment his classical training mixed with street art.
Peter Whittenberger – Digital Projection – Reno, NV
Peter Whittenberger is an interdisciplinary media artist and educator whose work explores contemporary definitions of “self” in relationship to the greater human narrative. Whittenberger was born in St. Louis, MO, but grew up in Billings, MT. After receiving a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Montana, Whittenberger moved to Salem, OR before making his home in Reno, NV. Holding an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from the University of Nevada, Reno, Whittenberger has shown his work in a variety of exhibitions, screenings, and festivals across North America, Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe. Whittenberger is currently an Adjunct Professor at Truckee Meadows Community College and a Teaching Artist through the Sierra Arts Foundation.
“Instead of creating works of yearning for a possibility or other, my intention is to create a reflective state of acceptance in the present. Through embracing our true nature and its peripheral influence on all of time, it is possible to accentuate parallels in all of human existence and in our contemporary communities. I question the notion of a single or universal path, but I believe significant similarities can be discovered in our shared, global context.”