One of the more culturally interesting things to do in Reno is visit the Nevada Museum of Art. Located in downtown Reno, the museum features a rotating display of exhibits, classes in the E.L. Cord Museum School, and other fun events, such as First Thursday, guest lectures, and Second Saturday, when entry to the museum is free. There's also a world class restaurant, Chez Louie, run by local chef Mark Estee.
Most people know Dave Eggers for his writing and his literacy project, 826 Valencia, but what they might not be aware of is that he's also a really talented artist. His exhibit,Insufferable Throne of God, is on display at the museum now through July 26. Of all the exhibits on display, this might be the most unique and unusual. His simple drawings of animals feature phrases from passages in the Old Testament of the Bible. The graphic images are slightly reminiscent of pop art — each one stands on its own and is accompanied by text that is, by turns, plaintive, inspiring, and sometimes humorous. The words were chosen carefully for each animal Eggers drew for the exhibit. As he said, "I think of what that animal might be thinking — if that animal had an antagonistic relationship with humans and was vying with those humans for the favor of a Catholic God." This exhibit should definitely be on your list of things to do in Reno this summer.
Betsabee Romero is bringing images to light with her art. A revered artist in her home country of Mexico, En Transito is Romero's first western United States exhibition. She combines black and white imagery of urban landscapes with colorful images of indigenous North American designs. The papel picado works challenge the viewers' perception as they see what appears to be two completely different images, but are really tricks of light and shadow. Romero is presenting her interpretation of a scene from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude — a series of tables levitating in the air at various levels, representing a scene when the priest levitates while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. She has used tires and paper balloons in unique interpretations, stacking tires with graphic designs on them and imagining the balloons to be representative of migration patterns. En Transito is on display until July 26.
Another great thing to do in Reno is head over the hill to Lake Tahoe, but if you can't, Tahoe: A Visual History will explore the landscape and beauty of this beloved mountain lake, offering a consolation prize for not visiting the lake itself, but perhaps enticing you to head up Mt. Rose as soon as possible. The exhibit will consist of more than 400 artworks of various types, from paintings to sculptures and basket weavings. Nevada Museum of Art senior curator Ann Wolfe spent five years pulling this exhibition together. "Many books and museum exhibitions have been devoted to the art of America's most scenic and iconic landscapes. Thanks to such scholarship, it is easy to conjure a mental image of the art of Yosemite, Yellowstone, Niagara Falls, or New York's Hudson River valley," Wolfe said. "The same cannot be said for the vicinity of Lake Tahoe. This exhibition, and accompanying book, surveys the contributions of hundreds of artists who have made work in or about the region." A nearly 500 page book accompanies the exhibit, giving visitors an even more in-depth look at the second largest freshwater lake in the United States. Tahoe: A Visual History opens August 22.
Saturday, June 13 will be a special Second Saturday. As always, the museum will be open to the public for free, but there will also be a blowout summer block party to celebrate a season of Latin American/Latino art. The Barrio Block Party will feature live performances, food, crafts for kids and adults, and local craft vendors sharing their wares. There will be live music from Ritmo Ardiente and performance art from visiting artist Erika Harrsch. St. Lawrence Pizza Co, Lazy Sundae, and Tacos El Chino will be there, so be sure to grab a delicious lunch. The Barrio Block Party is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and the museum is open until 6 p.m.
The Nevada Museum of Art is located at 160 W. Liberty Street. The museum can be reached via phone at 775-329-3333. Museum hours are Wednesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; closed Mondays, Tuesdays and national holidays.