Integrating Art with the Student Experience

President Karin Hilgersom, President Brian Sandoval and Nevada Museum of Art CEO David B. Walker in front of the Guardian of Eden sculpture.
Hannah Alfaro

Art has the amazing ability to bring people together, deepen connections between individuals and the world around them, and beautify our surroundings, and TMCC is now proud to display a sculpture that enables all three.

Last week, the College held a ceremony to welcome the sculpture Guardian of Eden to its Dandini Campus. This plasma-cut rolled steel and mixed media sculpture is now installed near the Sports and Fitness Center, and was created by New York-based artist Kate Raudenbush.

The piece is inspired by a cross-pollination of Hindi and Egyptian creation myth, Buddhist symbolism and the ancient Flower of Life. The sculpture debuted on the Black Rock Playa during the 2007 Burning Man gathering.

Raudenbush created this art “[a]s a meditation on our own era of time, this steel lotus flower blooms before us as a physical reflection of the fierceness and beauty of our planet under threat...[and] it is up to us to define what this new era of time will be.”

The ceremony was attended by leaders from the College, including President Karin Hilgersom, University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval and Nevada Museum of Art CEO David B. Walker. This sculpture, along with Shadow of the Sun installed on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, are now part of the permanent collection at the Nevada Museum of Art.

“TMCC serves many students from all walks of life,” Dr. Hilgersom said. “I believe that the majority of our students are so appreciative of what we offer here. Enhancing our campus through art also draws our students inward where they can reflect and discover their own talents and creative gifts.”

Making Art Accessible to Students

The inclusion of the sculpture at the Dandini Campus was made possible by the Nevada Museum of Art, which also made an important announcement at the event–students who attend Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Reno now have free admission to the museum through the Free Student Admission Program sponsored by the Wayne Prim Student Admission Endowment. As a TMCC or UNR student, you now have free admission to Museum galleries every day of the year. That’s not all—thanks to this new program, students will also have free access to singers/songwriters who showcase at First Thursday, and the opportunity for up-close conversations with artists, art and ideas through Art Bite talks offered most Fridays at noon.

Students only need to present their Student ID at the Membership + Admissions Desk to gain free entry to the Museum, which is located at 160 W. Liberty St.

The program was made possible by the Free Student Admission Endowment, a gift from Philanthropist and longtime Museum Trustee Wayne Prim. The $2 million endowment enables the program to continue in perpetuity and accompanied the long-term loan of two pieces of sculptural artworks that will reside on the TMCC and UNR campuses. These sculptures were donated to the Museum’s permanent collection by the Grellman family, longtime Reno residents, in memory of their son.

Education in the Arts

The Free Student Admission Program forms the latest chapter in the Museum’s nearly century-long commitment to education in the arts. Providing rich cultural programming for the community and region has been a central focus of the Museum’s mission since its founding.

“The Museum has long been invested in programs which, at their core, are focused on education,” David B. Walker said. “We’ve offered free admission to the Museum to high school students for more than 10 years, and with this significant gift, we will extend our unique experiences to UNR and TMCC students. It is critical for students to understand that arts and culture play a fundamental role in our lives. We are extremely pleased to announce this level of access.”

For TMCC and UNR students, this partnership will enable them to encounter sculpture in their daily lives on these respective campuses, while also offering an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the visual arts through free access to the Museum and select programs in the years to come.

For more information, visit the information page on the Nevada Museum of Art website.