Students Exhibit Art Panels Downtown

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Art Students at Downtown Reno Ballroom

Portfolio Emphasis students install art panels at the Downtown Reno Ballroom as the 2016 city public art exhibit "The City of Reno Windows Project".

The City of Reno has chosen art panels created by Portfolio Emphasis students at Truckee Meadows Community College to be displayed at the Downtown Reno Ballroom.

“The City of Reno Windows Project” was installed on Dec. 8, and will be featured in the large picture windows for about a year. Panels by the 11 students measure four feet by six feet each.

Portfolio Emphasis is the capstone course for students majoring in Fine Arts at TMCC.

“It will be fun for all of us to have our art displayed downtown,” said Sue Roberts, linoleum block printing artist. “We’ll all get a lot out of that because we’ve been working so hard on the panels. It’s wonderful to see them all finished.”

It was more than a three-month process from proposal to approval and installation.

“The students learned the entire process of putting together the proposal for a public art project,” said Candace Garlock, TMCC Galleries Curator and Art Instructor. “And so they started by meeting in September with Chistine Fey, who is in charge of all public art with the City of Reno.”

Public art in Reno comprises 185 exterior sculptures and 65 interior artworks in City Hall. Sculptures are located in parks and at city buildings, as painted murals, specially designed bike racks and colorful traffic signal boxes. Five sculptures were first created for Burning Man before coming to the City's collection.

“The collection is funded through the two percent for art program which utilizes a Call for Artists to ensure that all artists have the ability to apply for City projects,” emailed Fey, Resource Development and Cultural Affairs Manager. “The collection is managed by the Cultural Affairs Division of the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.”

Reno also manages three galleries in city buildings and two temporary galleries, including the gallery called Windows on Center which currently features the TMCC students’ work. Information about public art is posted on the City of Reno website.

“Students learned to put together a proposal, an artist statement, an artist biography and a small scale prototype of the final art piece,” Garlock added.

TMCC’s Windows Project was reviewed in mid-October and approved by the Reno Arts and Culture Commission on Nov. 2. Students installed their panels with the help of Garlock; John Frederick, Program Officer in the Academic Support Center; Tandy Gash, TMCC Gallery Assistant; and staff members from the City of Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino.

The Eleven

Alex Garcia, art created with ink and graphite

Artist Alex Garcia composed his panel about Nevada’s iconography and landscape. The subjects that interest and inspire him are government and immigration, portraiture and post realism.

“I started doodling with my cousin when we were young,” wrote Garcia in his proposal. “My cousin and I both challenged ourselves as kids to re-create images that we would see on our skateboards and favorite cartoons.”

April Skinner illustrates paradoxes of love

Skinner is a freelance artist in addition to her studies at TMCC. She specializes in illustration, and enjoys the subjects of botanical drawing and representing aspects of human love.

“Some people love hard, fast and free, while others are cautious, meticulous and careful – yet the love we feel is the same.” Skinner wrote in her proposal statement.

Brandy Shaw paints her journey as a person with Native American ancestry

Shaw grew up at Pyramid Lake and uses the mediums of watercolor, Indian ink, sharpies and pencils to create animals that are the spiritual guides for Native peoples. Her panel is a painting with two types of shoe images—a moccasin and Converse sneaker—representing her life as a Native American who navigates a world between tribal ancestry and modern life in the U.S.

“I also like to incorporate Sioux tribal designs because of the importance of introducing the meanings that are needed to pass on to future generations, Shaw wrote. “Future generations need someone to look up to. I believe I can be a positive role model through my art and a positive identity of Native Americans.”

David Radonski and video game art

David Radonski’s specialty is video game art, simulating characters and landscapes in this genre.

“If I see a picture I like, I try to paint it with my take on it,” Radonski said. “It falls under the genre of fan art. The title of my piece for the city project is ‘Blast'. It’s part of the Mario Universe.”

The panel is a mixed-medium piece with hidden details, such as a glow in the darker pigments.

“Video game portraits and landscapes are unique because they are different than what you might regularly see in a museum,” Radonski said. “We’re moving into the technological age, and everywhere you look, young people are doing something on a digital device. It’s the new upcoming medium.”

Diane Clarkson photographs history at Bodie

Diane Clarkson is a photographer interested in visualizing glimpses of the simpler life in the past, most notably, the historical site of Bodie, California. She often visits Bodie to capture different light, angles and weather conditions. The panel for the exhibit is a large digital print.

“None of my photographs are double or triple exposures – reflections are amazing,” she said.

Haley Williams spray paints over wood grain

Williams is a Graphic Communications and Fine Arts major. Her work is spray paint and acrylic paint on a wood panel. The wood’s surface has a clear layer of acrylic to preserve the look of the grain.

“Art was something my family was into, so I kind of inherited the interest in art,” Williams said. “My dad was an artist and he taught me when I was pretty young.”

She plans to transfer in Fine Art to UNR, and work toward her master’s degree.

“I’d like to teach art and art history at the high school level to start,” Williams said. “I love to learn and change, and hope to continue to learn throughout my life.”

James Roe’s painting is a transparency at night

Roe is a freelance photographer as well as a portfolio student. His panel is a large sheet of clear acrylic with thinned acrylic paint. The panel’s backing is coated with a reflective surface to enable back lighting.

“During the day, the painting will be seen as a regular painting, and at night, it will be seen as a transparency,” Roe wrote in the proposal.

Three elements; a cat, bird and tree on a hill are created in a cubist style.

“The cat is an allegory of the physical being; the bird, an allegory of the spirit; and the tree on a hill under a golden sky being the interface of the earthly realm and the cosmic realm,” he wrote.

Jessi Fenrich, painted cracked pots as a symbol of community

“I plan to paint a multitude of cracked pots supported against each other,” Fenrich wrote in her proposal statement. “There will be water flowing among the balanced pots. As a whole, the cracked pots will represent the beauty of a good support system. Reno is a growing community, and as long as we can work together and support each other, any situation can become something beautiful.”

Lindsey Correia represents textures in “Powder Blue”

Lindsey Correia’s work is entitled “Powder Blue".

“Through arrangement of soft shiny sateen and industrial denims, the image will represent the fine line between the true and sometimes notoriously gruesome reality of the Wild West and the nostalgia of Hollywood cowboys, handsome and pure, untainted by the haunts of city life,” Correia wrote.

Makyla Hunter reflects on human contradictions in her painting

Makyla Hunter works with a type of acrylic paint that acts like watercolor paint in its consistency and opacity.

“Through this piece, I show the contradictory character of the human race, in both our ability to destroy, as well as create,” Hunter wrote in the proposal. “The image of a single person in the midst of chaos and activity displays the power humans have, as well as the lack of control that comes in nature.”

Sue Roberts exhibits enlargement of linoleum block art

Roberts enjoys exploring places in Nevada where ancient artists lived and worked, leaving behind their petroglyphs and pictographs. The inspiration for her panel in the Windows Project came during a day of leaf-filled autumn colors.

“I saw somebody sitting and looking at the leaves beginning to fall,” Roberts said. “The design evolved into a Paiute or a Shoshone woman with a shawl, sitting and watching leaves coming down.”

Her print will be photo enlarged to panel size at Nevada Blue Reprographic Center.

More information about the exhibit

The Downtown Reno Ballroom is at 401 N. Center St. in Reno. “The City of Reno Windows Project” by the TMCC portfolio class is installed in display windows, and can be viewed from the sidewalk. The students were not paid for the art display; it was a school project, Garlock said.

For more information about Visual Arts at TMCC, please contact Candace Garlock at 775-674-7698.