Spring Exhibit - 2024

Art Exhibits on Display Feb. 12–March 14, 2024

Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) is excited to be exhibiting four new exhibitions featuring local artists. The exhibitions run Monday, Feb. 12 – Thursday, March 14 at four locations on the Dandini Campus. There will be an opening artists’ reception on Feb. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Student Center and Red Mountain Gallery on the 3rd floor in the Red Mountain Building on the Dandini Campus. Refreshments will be served, and the exhibitions are free and open to the public.

TMCC Main Gallery: Best in Show featuring Cesar Piedra, Kara Savant, Richard Jackson and Tom Drakulich

This exhibition’s curatorial practice is informed by conversations, be it with friends, peers, and mentors. The exchange of ideas, perspectives, and collaboration are the base of this curatorial project. In Piedra’s words, Best of Show is an ode to the conversations, had with Kara Savant, Thomas Drakulich, and Richard Jackson. For a time, we shared studio space where we challenged, experimented, and critiqued each other's work. Through our conversations and interactions in the studio, we developed a unique camaraderie and would be invited to exhibit work in group exhibitions. These invitations to exhibit created an atmosphere of healthy competition encouraging one another to create our best work, that would sell, for the benefit of local fundraisers and organizations. Best of Show grants the viewer access to these moments of conversation and collaboration and permits them to choose which of the artists is Best of Show.

Cesar Piedra is an interdisciplinary artist, born in southern California and raised in northern Nevada. He received an Associates of Art in Fine Arts from TMCC a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics with a minor in art history at the University of Nevada Reno. His Art practice is informed by the rich history of the Mesoamerican and Mexican-American cultures. Kara Savant is a fifth generation Nevadan from Elko, strongly rooted in her home state. She currently works for the University of Nevada, Reno’s Sculpture Department. Once she attended college, she replaced the sagebrush covered hills with the art studios found at both TMCC and UNR. There she met Tom, Richard, and Cesar and their tongue-in-cheek repertoire was born. Her infatuation of creating something out of nothing translated into her interdisciplinary practice where she now creates work that speaks to her upbringing, Nevada, and the art community that continues to inspire her. Richard Jackson hails from the great state of Nevada. He was born in Reno and has been a resident of that great city ever since. He received his B.A. with an emphasis in drawing in 1991. Richard started his ceramic sculpture work in 1988 under the tutelage of Fred Reid. Richard accepted a position as lab technician at UNR in 2012 and has been there ever since. Richard’s current body of work reflects the inspiration and influences of the artists in this show. Also born and raised in Reno, NV, Tom Drakulich is a process-based abstractionist whose art practice navigates the play between the unique and the familiar. Having grown up exploring the Nevada landscape, he is influenced by the ways in which the physicality and form of the desert can be connected to the aesthetics of the body and relationships concerning human nature. Tom received his A.A. in art history from Truckee Meadows Community College, his B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada, Reno, and his M.F.A. from the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2019, he was selected as the City of Reno’s inaugural City Artist.

Red Mountain Gallery: Hunter/Gatherer by Mark Combs

Combs is a Reno based artist and University of Nevada, Reno Art Instructor. Following a twenty-two-year United States Air Force career as a Medical Technician specializing primarily in critical care, he retired and shortly after began attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to complete his undergraduate studies. There, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in sculpture and a Minor in Art History. Mark’s undergraduate work was recognized by the International Sculpture Center in 2016 with an award and shows on the East Coast. Upon graduation and acceptance to the University of Nevada, Reno’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program, he relocated to Reno. He completed his graduate studies earning an MFA in Studio Arts in May 2019. Exposure to teaching as a graduate student led him to continue as an instructor at the University. Engaging with students in both undergraduate and graduate studies continues to be a core part of his life. Combs’ inspiration for Hunter/Gatherer comes from the original peoples of our lands, who hunted for animals and plant-based edibles. When they found them or made a kill, they thanked them or the land for providing a meal and tried to use as much of the collected material as possible. The vast majority of modern peoples throughout the world now do their “hunting” in grocery stores. We hunt with exuberance, looking for the best buy, and selecting the best “kill.” We cook, eat, and create memories, discard our leftovers, and move to the next meal. We haunt the same hunting grounds or choose new ones depending on the meal or event…sometimes we let others do the hunting for us. Combs’ work is about providing those memorable meals, harvesting leftover items (bones, cans, packaging) and combining those found objects into food/packaging specific items. In essence Combs is memorializing the portion that has been consumed (eaten or used) with needle felted wool. The “ghost” of the image is combined with the reclaimed materials to create the final work.

Erik Lauritzen Gallery: Every Time I Thought of You (or: every moon since the day we met) by Camryn Maher

Camryn Maher is a mixed media and installation artist who creates work about emotions, color, memories, and experience, especially through her synesthetic perceptions. Camryn utilizes painting, collage, ephemera collection, photography, light, and fiber work in her practice. From the Great Basin, Camryn is a Master of Fine Arts Candidate and Instructor at the University of Nevada, Reno in Reno, Nevada with graduation expected in 2024. In Maher’s practice, she explores color as it relates to emotions, memories, and experience. She is motivated by synesthetic perceptions, encounters with nature, and feelings that don’t go away. Maher creates work that encapsulates instances of deeply touching personal experience, intending to communicate poignant moments and motivate internal reflection and resonance. Every Time I Thought of You (or: every moon since the day we met) is a body of work reflecting on persistent emotion, time passing, and unconscious ritual. This work is an exploration of her subliminal and perseverant capturing of over 100 moons during a two-year period. Unconscious rituals can represent what we yearn for, what we hope for, and a lot of the words we’ve never been able to say. Every Time I thought of you (or: every moon since the day we met) encourages a deeper look into the gentle compulsions we’re prone to keeping, and the meaningful and sincere qualities of regular, extraordinary things.

Red Mountain Student Gallery: A Version of You I Forgot by Brock O’Brien

Brock O’Brien is a visual artist based in Reno Nevada. O’Brien is interested in making emotionally vulnerable artwork while referencing art history. O’Brien attends Truckee Meadows Community College where he is working on obtaining his Associates degree of Arts, Fine Arts degree. O’Brien’s artwork has been exhibited at The Holland Project, Nevada Museum of Art, and University of Reno through the Scholastic art Awards competition. Brock has won multiple awards from Scholastic art Awards including Gold and Silver keys. Most notably he was an American Visionary Nominee (2021). For O’Brien art has always been an escape from the real world and all of its stresses. His paintings are driven by the most beautiful thing that can be used to create art, emotion. Emotion fuels his work, tears him down so I can build something new from it. With the use of emotions, O’Brien can relate to and find comfort in. Throughout this series he shines a light on Sexual Assault and Rape. For O’Brien this project is personal. He aims to show how it affected himself and the emotional progression surrounding such trauma. He drew inspiration from the concept of the Japanese art form of “Kintsugi”, the act of gluing broken things together with gold paint within the cracks. Using this idea of gold and this technique, I want to express the idea of beauty within the broken, and show a sense of healing. In this series of paintings, O’Brien is incorporating imagery of famous sculptures that were influenced by Greek and religious figures, mainly from the Renaissance Era. The paintings tell a story of growth, trauma and real-life experiences through his artistic lens. O’Brien wants the viewers to find their own interpretation and meaning in the piece. He wants his audience to have a sense of wonder with his work, to take the time and think of what he is trying to get across. Most of all O’Brien wants viewers to be able to relate to his work no matter who they are. The ability to draw on his life is something he leans on in his work as a sense of catharsis, doing so helps him to get through rough areas of his life. By addressing Sexual Assault and Rape through these paintings, O’Brien hopes to address this heavy subject in a way that many people can relate to.