Nevada’s wild diversity on display this weekend

Art reception and fundraiser helps support local artists and independent journalism
A landscape painting from artist Bill Jewell

Nevada is a widely diverse and unique place, from its geography and nature to its people and wildlife. And this weekend, that tapestry will be on display in Reno.

Nevada Expressions III kicks off Friday, and features work from local and regional artists, including Jack Malotte, Erik Holland and Monique Rebelle. The reception takes place from 4-9pm at the Sierra Arts Gallery on Virginia St. in Reno.

Full disclosure: A portion of all art sales will go to help fund the nonprofit journalism of Sierra Nevada Ally and KNVC Carson City Community Radio.

Artists and staff from the Sierra Nevada Ally and KNVC will also be there Saturday from 11am – 4pm. The show continues through June 23.

Nevada Expressions III helps support local artists and fund nonprofit, local journalism from the Sierra Nevada Ally and KNVC Carson City Community Radio.

Elaine Parks is an artist who lives in the super-remote Tuscarora, a tiny community in northeastern Nevada with a population of roughly 90 people. She primarily works with ceramics and sculpture work, and explained some of her inspiration last year to local arts publication, Double Scoop.

“Most of my work actually just comes from being fortunate enough to live out there and having this direct access to this kind of world where there aren’t that many people, so the things you do notice then are weird things in nature, and it’s endlessly fascinating,” Parks told Double Scoop editor, Kris Vagner.

Two ceramic birds hanging on a string. This is the work of artist Elaine Parks
An example of artist Elaine Parks’ work, in one of many “charms and talismans for modern life”

Parks likes to focus her work on making things look different than what they are, which is what drew her to clay. Parks will have her work available this weekend, alongside Carol Foldvary-Anderson. Her style may feel familiar to many, as she told the city of Reno back in 2013.

“It’s actually something we all actually learned in grade school, where you take a template and then what you do is you put the oil pastel on the outside of the template and then you smudge in the negative. So, it’s something we all know and we’ve done, but I’ve just kind of taken it to the next step,” Foldvary-Anderson said.

Her quote, “oil pastel smudge” approach has garnered her honors from the Nevada State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, and her calligraphy work is seen in the Nevada State Legislature.

But if you’ve spent much time in Nevada, you’ve probably come across the work of Jack Malotte. His work focuses on the landscape of the Great Basin and it often has a political message about the struggles facing indigenous communities. But, he doesn’t like being labeled as a “Native American Artist,” as he told the Nevada Museum of Art in 2019.

“Another thing I don’t like, is when Indians put their title on there and then they put their tribal name, you know what tribe they came from. It shouldn’t matter. It should just be their name. And when they do that, I think it puts them in a box because they expect you to do Indian stuff. Then people expect that and don’t want to look at you doing other things. If you want to go abstract, or if you just want to do photo realism of a coffee cup or whatever, it should be just whoever the artist, it shouldn’t be boxed in as ‘Native American,'” Malotte said.

Nevada Expressions III kicks off with a catered reception Friday from 4-9 pm at the Sierra Arts Gallery in downtown Reno. Proceeds from all art sales will help local artists, and will help fund local, nonprofit, independent journalism from the Sierra Nevada Ally and KNVC Carson City Community Radio.

The show continues Saturday from 11am – 4pm, and the artwork will be on display through June 23. You can make a donation to support the work of Sierra Nevada Ally and KNVC here.

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