TMCC Student Joins Statewide Art Exhibition

TMCC Student Jessica Green stands next to her work featured in the Nevada P.S. I Love You Exhibition.
Rebecca A. Eckland

Jessica Green is a communications major at TMCC, and hopes to pursue a bachelor’s in psychology at UNR that will enable her to become a professional therapist. In Fall 2021, however, she was one of five artists in Nevada to receive the $50 merit Award for the Nevada P.S. I Love You Postcard Exhibition. Nevada Humanities received over one thousand submissions from across the state—not bad for Green’s first foray into printmaking. 

“I took the class mainly because I wanted to try screenprinting, and so I was caught off-guard when the class covered all kinds of printmaking, not just that,” she said. “And the postcard was my first-ever printmaking project.”

Her design includes the shape of Nevada stamped in blue, with an overlay of an antique slot machine in the top corner of the state. “I knew that the judging process was going to happen in Vegas, so since I’m in Reno I thought the one thing that could connect these two places was gambling,” she said. 

She said that the most challenging part of the process was carving the rubber stamp into the shape of the antique slot machine. “It was really hard, and I didn’t think it came out looking that great, but… when I put the ink on it, it looked better. That was the first stamp I’ve ever made,” she said.

Nevada P.S. I Love You Exhibition

The traveling exhibition featuring postcards made by Nevada artists all over the state will come to TMCC on February 18-March 20, 2022. The project was created to connect urban and rural communities and people across the state by sharing aspects of what they love most about “the Silver State” through this community-based collection. 

Conceived by TMCC Art Professor and professional artist Candace Garlock, Bobbie Ann Howell (Nevada Humanities, Las Vegas) and Cindy Whitaker as a part of the 2019 Nevada Arts Council Basin to Range Cultural Exchange Program, the initial project was envisioned as a way to foster community and connection. 

“The project was a wonderful surprise for people,” said Garlock, remembering the project’s inception, which included a Professional Development workshop in which TMCC faculty and staff made postcards that would be shipped to instructors at Great Basin College and Western Nevada College.  “[The idea was that participants] would get a random postcard in the mail from someone they might not have ever met. In the beginning, we got lists of people (community members, firefighters, teachers, politicians) from both the rural areas of Nevada and urban areas.” 

Yet, like many things, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the shape of the Nevada P.S. I Love you Program. “When the pandemic hit, Bobbie Ann Howell went ‘full steam ahead’ with this project and the Nevada Humanities found money to pay for the kits and the postage. It really grew from there,” Garlock said. 

Participants in the exhibition had to share a positive message about what they love about the Nevada they call home. “We all need a chance to make art and send Nevada a note of love,” said Garlock. “This upcoming exhibition was announced in the fall of 2021 and anyone in Nevada could participate. I think the sheer number of postcards submitted—over a thousand—is a testament to the importance of this project. We are building a sense of community.”

The Importance of Art and Community

The Nevada P.S. I Love You Exhibition showcases community and the way art can unexpectedly hold a special place both inside of us (as an impression of our inner reality and individuality) as well as our shared sense of spaces and community around us. For students like Green, an art class enabled her to learn something new about herself, and to affirm that her educational and professional goals are in alignment with who she envisions herself becoming.

This, said Garlock, can be the power of art.

“I really feel lucky to be teaching in the arts. Students are constantly asked to reflect on their own experiences and what is important to them. I learn so much from them! Their interpretations on their own culture and how they navigate through Nevada history and the Nevada environment, weaving their own stories using visual media is inspiring,” she said. 

For more information about studying visual art at TMCC, contact the Visual Arts Department at 775-673-7291.