Virtual art + culture event picks

The happening venues this summer are Facebook + Zoom

Whether you’re a kid, a movie buff, an art salon fan, or someone who wants to learn to paint, local art and culture organizers are planning a virtual event or drive-in event that’s probably up your alley. Here are 11 of our favorites. Check your favorite group or venue’s social media pages for more.

Drive-in + drive-through shows

Cordillera International Film Festival

Most of this Reno-based festival’s offerings are online this year, including 130+ films and ticketed red-carpet events. The Friday night Movies in the Park series is free, courtesy of Artown.

Anchorman, July 17, 8 p.m.

Summer Shorts short film lineup, July 24, 8 p.m.

West Wind El Rancho 4 Drive-In Theater

555 El Rancho Drive, Sparks

Free admission. RSVP required.

Flatbed truck concerts

With its indoor stage closed until further notice, Brewery Arts Center has been bringing musicians through Carson City neighborhoods on Saturday nights on a flatbed truck-turned-stage. This week, Carolyn Dolan & Big Red sing blues, funk, and R+B as they slowly tour the West Side neighborhood, near Carson Middle School. Catching a glimpse from the park is encouraged—with masks and social distancing. Masks and kids’ art kits will be available as giveaways. Here’s the concert route. 

July 18, 6-9 p.m.

Drive In & Jivin’

“Notable” is a local group that provides music therapy for people with disabilities. The Note-Ables are a related band that plays at local venues and private parties. Part of the band’s mission is to remind the public that people with disabilities make significant contributions to the art and music scenes. Note-Ables, the band, stars in its own drive-in movie, dancing and singing to music from the 1950s and ’60s. BYO vehicle, ideally with an FM radio.

July 25, 8:30-10 p.m. (Lot opens at 8 p.m.)

76 Court Street parking lot, between Sierra and Virginia Streets, across from the Pioneer Center, Reno

Suggested $5 donation


Art + theory for kids + adults 

“Identity and Portraits”—a class for kids ages 7-12 taught by Las Vegas artist Lance Smith—is just one of the options for kids, teens and adults to pick up some art skills and theory in the Nevada Museum of Art’s virtual classes and summer camps. Smith teaches kids about artists in the museum’s World Stage exhibition, including Kehinde Wiley, Wendy Red Star, Hung Liu, each of whom addresses big issues like race, American culture and power structures. 

“Identity and Portraits” with Instructor Lance Smith, ages 7-12

$85; Museum members $80

Visit the museum’s EL Cord Museum School page for more classes and camps, including photography, inks, and painting in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe. Fees range from $30-90.

Virtual watercolor academy 

Dana Childs is a watercolor painter and longtime art teacher based in Gardnerville. During the pandemic, she still teaches in-person workshops—now with hand sanitizer, masks, and social distancing. She also started an online art academy. Students can sign up on Patreon for a monthly subscription, which includes access to video tutorials, a virtual artist support community, and one-on-one consultation. Childs’ intro video has more detail.

Make like Matisse

Early-20th-century French abstractionist Henri Matisse is one of the most frequently referenced people in Western art history. University of Nevada, Reno Art History Professor (and mom) Brett Van Hoesen brings Matisse’s ideas into “Discover Matisse,” a free Artown workshop for kids ages 6-12. Supply your kids in advance with a pencil, a sheet of plain white paper, a glue stick, scissors, and different sizes of colored paper, so they can work along with Van Hoesen to make a Matisse-style collage. (No need for a shopping trip. Paper shopping bags, Post-It notes, or a few magazine pages will work fine.) 

Discover Matisse, July 22, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

On Artown’s Facebook page. The event will remain accessible there through July.

Visit Artown’s website for more events and workshops throughout July.

Art talks

Art meets environmental science

The Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art + Environment and UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station, near Truckee, have long collaborated on projects in which art meets science. A field-station-related group exhibition was slated to open in Washington DC this summer, but, according to an email newsletter from the museum, “the pandemic hit just as the artworks arrived on the loading dock …” Instead, the National Academy of Sciences hosts an online version.

The virtual exhibition is expected to be posted here soon.

Related Zoom conversation: DASER Experiments: Artist Residency at Sagehen Creek Field Station, Aug. 20, noon-1 p.m. 

Sun Valley culture salon

You know about Sun Valley’s trailer homes. But do you know about its homesteading history? Or the local artists who grew up there? Artown, Holland Project, and Nevada Humanities present “The Salon: Valley of the Sun,” a talk about the culture, art, and history of the north-of-Reno neighborhood. The panelists are artists Jeannette Martinez, Alisha Funkhouser, and Austin Pratt, along with historian Jonathan Cummins.

The Salon: Valley of the Sun, July 17, 6-7:30 p.m.

On Nevada Humanities’ Facebook page or website.

Diversity in the art world

Diversity and inclusion are pressing topics in just about every industry—including the arts. A new local panel discussion series explores the topic this Saturday. Lilley Museum Director Vivian Zavataro, Author Thomas Qualls, Nevada Arts Council Director Tony Manfredi, and Art Historian Erika Cole Gillette are the hosts. The guests are Ximena Keogh Serrano, Assistant Professor, Cultural Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, Potentialist Workshop Director Pan Pantoja, and artist/activist Ruby Barrientos. (Disclosure: Kris Vagner, author of this guide, was a guest on the inaugural July 11 panel.)

“Art + Modern Life” panel discussion, July 18, 2-4 p.m.

Live on Facebook and the Lilley Museum’s YouTube page

An interview (+ interludes) with muralist Joe C. Rock

Loud As Folk, Spike McGuire’s weekly songwriters showcase at Pignic, teams up with Artspot mural tour leader Geralda Miller for “Loud As Folk: A Fistful Of Murals.” Miller will interview Joe C. Rock, the Reno artist who painted the Black Lives Matter murals on the temporary boards on vandalized City Hall. The interview airs on Facebook and KWNK 97.9 FM, interspersed with music by Buffalo Moses Music, Cole Adams Music, Johnny Harpo, Nathan Carter, Kelly Proud, Josiah Knight, Tyler Stafford, Matt Bushman, Darabello (Joseph Tatum), The White Hats, Lucas Paul, Pink Awful, People With Bodies, and Mason Frey.

Loud As Folk: A Fistful Of Murals, July 17, 7 p.m. 

On Loud as Folk’s Facebook page and KWNK 97.7FM

Free (Organizers request that those who enjoy the show consider making a $5 donation here.)

Virtual Burning Man

Still on fire

When the tough gets going, Burners get organized. After Burning Man’s main event for 2020 was canceled, the community gathered up the ashes of disappointment, and from them rose a bustling event portal of virtual events worldwide. Offerings include the Burning Man Live podcast, the Cooped Up Concerts series, the Corporation Chaos Ask A Philosopher Booth, game shows, a disco, chat rooms, and the virtual Aug. 15 premiere of a new documentary film, Art on Fire. You’ll need a user account to access all of this, but the setup process is free and quick.

Here’s the website, a jam-packed rabbit hole with more events that we can list.

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