Posts

Let’s Walk the Walk

How time flies.

Last February, my business partner and I held our first of three dry runs for Art Walk Reno before our official launch in May. Eric Brooks and I were surprised how many people ventured out in the cold and said they had a good time. We knew we were on to something that would be beneficial for local artists and the downtown businesses that wanted to show art.

As long as I’ve lived here, I’ve always liked the idea of first Thursdays at the Nevada Museum of Art, but work obligations kept me from frequenting that well-attended event. I would drive by close to the 7 p.m. closing and regret not attending. For others, as myself, who weren’t able to escape their desks in time, but wanted to enjoy an evening downtown experiencing art, we thought an art walk through the Arts District would be the perfect extension to that cornerstone event. It worked.

Starting our event at Liberty Fine Art Gallery allows people to check out what’s happening at the museum and then walk around downtown, grab a bite and see more art. Let’s face it. Who’s ready to go home at 7 p.m.?

The venues showing art stretch a mile, from Sierra Arts Gallery and Metro Gallery in City Hall on Virginia Street to the east and McKinley Arts and Culture Center at Vine Street and Riverside Drive to the west. If you check out all 17 stops on the art walk, not only will you see good local art, you’ll get the extra benefit of a good workout that satisfies many of your New Year’s resolutions.

For that reason, and the fact that February is American Heart Month , we’ve partnered with Saint Mary’s Center for Health and Fitness for Walk for Art and Your Heart! challenge. The first 50 people who want to participate in the Walk for Art and Your Heart! challenge will receive a free pedometer. And if you already own a pedometer or use a Fitbit, that’s perfect, you, too, can participate in the challenge. Check in at Liberty Fine Art Gallery and we’ll log you in.

Why do this? Oh let me count the reasons! You get to see great art. You’ll get a great workout in and not feel guilty when you eat that slice of pizza at Noble Pie Parlor at the end of the walk. You get to be just a little bit competitive and try to walk the most steps and win great prizes. Now that I think more about this, Eric and I will walk the route beforehand and post the number of steps we walked on Facebook, so you have a number to beat. How’s that? You also get to challenge yourself and keep on walking throughout the month and try to log the most steps walked for even more prizes.

And for the rest of you who aren’t reward driven, I think the most important reason to participate is for a healthy heart. I will walk in memory of my mother, who died six years ago from heart disease.

I’m grateful to Saint Mary’s Center for Health and Fitness for working with us on this. What a great way to start our second year of fun strolls in downtown Reno! We’re setting the bar higher for ourselves. It’s a good thing we’re going to be in great shape to keep leaping!

Geralda Miller, Curator

Geralda Miller, Curator

 

 

Let’s Pay Attention to Reno’s Art

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!!

 

Geralda Miller, Curator

Geralda Miller, Curator

Art Spot Flags are a Symbol of Cultural Vibrancy

Oh, say, can you see in the day’s abundant light all those vibrant Art Spot Reno flags flying in the Truckee Meadows?

Maybe you never noticed the flags, splashed with a vivid “Art Spot,” hanging in front of cafés, art galleries, boutiques and other Reno businesses. Or maybe you’ve seen the banners and wondered what they meant.

The flags started popping up in the autumn months of 2012 at places that show art. But they’re more than just a marker. They symbolize the ideal of community engagement, help build our city’s arts and culture identity and, along with that, a sense of pride.

I first noticed one hanging outside Homage Bakery and immediately asked the owner about it. She flew the flag because art created by local artists hung on most walls in her quaint house-converted-into-a-cafe. But I realized another reason Homage deserved to be an Art Spot. Her baked delicacies also are works of art — briefly admired before savored.

An Arts “Renossance”

Last month, I attended Burning Man’s Global Leadership Conference in San Francisco. More than 300 people from around the world converged to share ideas on how to grow the Burning Man ethos.

One of the first presentations during the plenary session was delivered by three people who are working on projects in Reno. They titled their presentation, “Renossance.” Collectively, they shared how Reno has become a hotbed of creative expression. I sat in my chair and had my Michelle Obama moment. For the first time in my 11 years living in Reno, I felt proud to be from The Biggest Little City in the World. For the rest of the conference, when people from all those big cities heard I was from Reno, they praised what we’re doing here. I proudly was waving my internal flag.

A few years ago, I wrote an article saying there was a flicker in Reno’s arts community and time would tell if that would grow. Well, it has. I’m going to agree with those three presenters that we are in the “Renossance.”

So now, what?

Now is the time to wave our flag and boast our arts scene – our visual artists, our musicians, our actors, our writers, our dancers and those who appreciate/enjoy it.

Now is the time to rebuild our city’s cultural identity.

Geralda_Miller

Geralda Miller, Curator

Art Walk Reno Launch

What a great inaugural Art Walk Reno we had!

The idea of a downtown art walk is not a new one. There have been walks, highlighting local art and the city’s public art, architecture, culture, and history.  The time seemed ripe to re-launch an art walk in the downtown Arts District, and the turnout proved that it is.

It didn’t hurt that, after another shot of chilly temperatures and sprinkles, the clouds passed and summer-like weather returned. It also didn’t hurt that Singer Social Club had its soft opening and was the after-the-walk hot spot.

It truly was “A Beautiful Night for A Walk!”

We hope you’ll come out to our next art walk on June 5th.

Erik Holland will be our guest artist, featuring limited edition, signed and numbered prints as well as hand-painted glasses. The prints and glasses will be sold at Liberty Fine Art Gallery.

And if you missed it, here’s a video that was made by one of our lovely Art Walk Reno participants:

Art Walk Reno – April