We painted the town! On Sept. 26 – 29, 43 artists and 32 students painted 61 walls during the Elko Mural Expo. The goal of the event was to brighten the downtown corridor, by curating a diverse array of outdoor murals, creating a walkable, outdoor gallery. That definitely was achieved!
Visiting national and international artists added some extra flair to the event and, more importantly, went back to their communities with stories of the Old West in the magical city of Elko, NV. More than 20 murals were added during the last few days of the Expo, primarily by local artists. More than 100 people of all ages, participated in the Alley Art and Recycle/Refurbish projects.
Above all else, these painted walls are a source of community pride and will be another addition to Elko, being an arts destination worth stopping for. This project continues the downtown revitalization by replacing blighted areas with beautiful artwork.
Russell Butler, buZ blurr – Master of Ceremonies – Gurdon, AR
Russell Butler was born in Lafe, Arkansas, in 1943, buZ blurr is the pseudonym assumed by the enigmatic artist and third-generation, forty-one-year career railroad man. Rooted in the folk art tradition of hobos and rail workers, blurr’s iconic Colossus of Roads drawing of a pipe-smoking cowboy in transit—each iteration elevated by an esoterically poetic caption in language drawn from his daily life—has adorned tens of thousands of railcars across North America. Drawn in obscurity for decades, blurr’s ultimate outing as its creator (in the 2005 documentary Who is Bozo Texino?) solidified his position as a beloved hero of an outsider underground.
Nathaniel Benjamin – Reno, NV
Nathaniel Benjamin‘s family moved throughout the United States during his childhood, spending the most time in the Midwest. He studied graphic design in Flagstaff, AZ, then took a three-year hiatus to explore America by bicycle. In 2013 he settled in Reno, NV, where he currently is an art student at the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to studying printmaking, Nathaniel is a sign painter, muralist and chalk artist for local businesses.
Hernan Borrero – Reno, NV
Hernan Borrero is a muralist born and raised in Reno, NV. From a young age, his art has been inspired by cartooning and comic books. Around 15 years old, he was introduced to graffiti art, which became his new inspiration. His style incorporates cartoons, illustrations, and lettering to produce intriguing works of art. As he continues to do murals, he enjoys finding new ways to express his creativity.
Eric Brooks – Reno, NV
Eric Brooks began pursuing his professional connection to the arts in 2000 as co-founder of the BirdsNest Co-op in San Francisco. In 2011 opportunity arose for a semi permanent move to Edinburgh to work with The Forest Café, a non-profit that focused its energy towards art, education, and community. While there he was featured twice as Artist-in-Residence and curated several local group exhibitions. Currently, he is the Sierra Arts Foundation’s Galleries at Work coordinator, curates three alternative galleries and is Creative Director of the 501-c3 Art Spot Reno. His creative practice as a painter and sculptor are actualized as owner of HorseHead Design.
Erik Burke – Reno, NV
Erik Burke creates place-specific murals throughout the world. His pairing of photographic representation with impressionistic painting is complemented by a strong sense of design. In his work, one can see how painting reflects a deep interest in storytelling and the narrative power of images to reactivate a variety of spaces.
Past works include: creating a 40-acre ground drawing in the USA, making a body of work while bicycling 2000 miles across Europe, leading art workshops with communities in need around the globe, and painting more than 200 murals. His latest works can be seen in Spain, Bosnia Herzegovina, South Korea, Italy, and closer to home in Reno.
His work has been published in the book “Street Art; The Best Urban Art from Around the World,” The Huffington Post, and the NYTimes.
Stephane Cellier – Virginia City, NV/ Paris, France
Stephane Cellier describes his painting style as “enigmaticlassic.”
Classically trained, Cellier has pushed a very complex technique from the XVIth century, called “Multiple Transparent Glazing.” He has superimposed up to 50 layers of different transparent colors, in order to create a unique “shine through” stained-glass effect. His enigmatic subjects will have a different meaning for each viewer, with their own emotions reflecting on a painting.
He calls this “reflecting paintings.”
Jennifer Charboneau – Reno, NV
Jen Charboneau is an ambitious creative with roots in Minneapolis, MN. She completed her Fine Arts degree in 2008 at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. For more than 10 years, Charboneau traveled to 21 different countries, living as a nomadic artist. Its creative energy, the expansive landscapes to explore, and events like Burning Man, have inspired her to make Reno home. Inspired by her travels and explorations, Charboneau’s work typically reflects subtle observations of people, landscapes, and social dialog. What begins as chaotic pen sketches and captured moments in prose, later becomes refined gestural abstractions of form and movement.
Bryce Chisholm – Reno, NV
Bryce Chisholm is an artist born and raised in Reno, NV — The Biggest Little City in the World. Subjects from history, elements of propaganda and nostalgia play prominent roles in his work. Bryce has always had a fondness for undervalued beauty. Finding the best parts of a gritty city has led to his love of graffiti and street art. He has painted in many mediums including oil, acrylic, watercolor, and spray paint — basically anything he can get his hands on. He loves to paint and will do it on just about any surface he can. Stencils have been Bryce’s passion for several years. But he always remembers that they are just one of many tools used to get his desired results.
Jamie Darragh – Reno, NV
Jamie Darragh is a 25-year-old mixed-media artist. She was born and raised in Northern Nevada. She is passionate about her community and truly loves Northern Nevada, and all of its hidden talent and beauty. She loves mural painting, acrylic painting, woodworking, and trying new techniques. Jamie is very excited to be a part of such an awesome event in Elko and believes that art is the best way to bring people together.
Katy Ann Fox – Jackson, Wyoming
Katy Ann Fox wanders through the West, witnessing windblown mountains and sunlight to gather emotion and imagery for her paintings. Her brushstrokes foster a feeling of peace and respect for her subject as she focuses on texture and color harmony. She grew up in northern Idaho, moved to San Francisco, California for her Masters in Fine Art degree at the Academy of Art University, and now makes her art in the town of Jackson, Wyoming. This will be her first mural.
Edgar Garcia – Elko, NV
Edgar C. Garcia was born in Amarillo, Texas and raised for the majority of my life in Elko, Nev. Graffiti art is his passion and he enjoys painting murals with different styles of writing, lettering, cartoon characters, and 3D abstract art. Garcia started exploring graffiti art when he was 16 years old and it has mainly been a hobby since. His dream and goal are to branch out and create a brand for his artwork. Garcia is inspired by abstract art creations with explosive colors and lettering that tricks and challenges the mind. He hopes his art inspires others to chase their dreams.
Gina Holmberg – Elko, NV
Northern Nevada based painter, photographer, digital artist, and sculptor, Gina Joy Holmberg,
has been honing her skills in public art for the past several years. Originally a graphic designer,
Holmberg blends her painting skills with her ten years of design experience, bringing about a perfect
marriage of her passion for mural art.
Gina’s has a reverence for nature and love of the outdoors. Her activities include swimming,
hunting, hiking, and camping, primarily in the Nevada Outback, which inspires her choice of
subjects. As the artist explains, “I use the icon of the antler to deconstruct masculinity to
understand it’s mysteries.”
Justin Johnson – Salt Lake City, Utah
What Justin Johnson enjoys about the arts and murals is it gives artists the opportunity to impact places and cultures they might not experience otherwise. Coordinating with many groups and organizations, Justin sees the arts as a universal thread that reflects who artists are, while connecting communities.
Leslie King – Long Beach, Calif.
Leslie King is a painter and writer. Her work has been shown in Reno, Nevada at Sierra Arts Gallery, as well as galleries in the Los Angeles area. Leslie views the creative arts as a tool to uncover the true self. Her muse is the divine feminine, whose sacred rebirth and resurrection can bring balance to this Goddess-less world. Painting her first mural in Elko next to other female artists is a great honor for her.
Bill Louis – Eagle Mountain, Utah
William M. Louis is the artist behind BiltsLouisArt. Born in Suva on the island of Fiji, Bill’s artistic talents and inspirations are multifaceted, akin to his diverse cultural heritage. Growing up in Reno, NV, Bill has lived in various cities, including Seattle and San Francisco, before moving to Salt Lake City in 2011.
Pursuing a passion for the arts from an early age, his stylistic influences pay homage to an experience of surveying vibrant topographies and adapting to changing cultural landscapes, while remaining dedicated to his family and a Polynesian culture rich with tradition. Cultivating a visual language of his own, Bill’s influences cull from West Coast graffiti art to early contemporary masters. Many of his recent works have been inspired by digital and cultural art as well. He specializes in a variety of mediums, including acrylic and oil paints, watercolor, ink, aerosol, sculpture, music production and digital graphic arts.
He has collaborated with many street artists from Los Angeles to London.
Mike Lucido – Reno, NV
Mike Lucido is a working artist/illustrator.
Seth McCorkle – Reno, NV
Seth McCorkle creates mixed-media portraits of animals, people, and pop culture. Having lived all over California, Washington, and Northern Nevada, he is influenced by the people and sights that make up a sometimes undesirable/invisible side of life. Everyone and everything has a story.
Matthew McDowell- Reno, NV
Anthony Ortega – Reno, NV
Anthony Ortega is a fine artist and tattoo artist with 15 years of tattooing experience. He has a heavy background in large-scale art installations, which he has been constructing for almost 20 years. Ortega has taken his colorful work to a surreal level through the influence of his Latin heritage and psychedelic influences. When he is not doing something art-related, he can be found spending time with his family, catching and releasing animals in the wild, and finding new home-renovation projects to start.
Colene Paradise – Owyhee, NV
Colene Paradise, Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award: Colene is a member of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe who hails from the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Owyhee where she has exemplified teaching of the humanities. She has worked closely with Owyhee youth to help them find their voice as citizens. She has worked with students on “The Deep West Videos,” in which students have become filmmakers and created short videos about their heritage and community.
Rachel Pittario – Elko, NV
Rachel Pittario (Storms) is a fifth-generation freelance artist from Northeastern Nevada. Rachel’s work is primarily inspired by her experiences and perceptions of nature. Sometimes raw and unrefined, Rachel works with loose lines and bold colors, with a variety of mediums. Rachel has been locally, state and Congressionally awarded by The Nevada Museum of Art, Wild Women of Tuscarora, and The Elko Art Club. She has also been featured multiple times in Elko Daily Free Press and, most recently, in the blog Anthony Around Town.
Arthur Richmond – Reno, NV
Arthur Richmond, or A.R.T. , was originally born in Long Beach, Calif. but moved to Reno, Nev. in 2002 to study at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has since considered himself a local artist. Richmond has been featured in several art galleries, including the Sierra Arts Gallery and the Holland Project. He uses mostly acrylic to reproduce the landscapes. He roams to discover meaning through nature, a commonality in all of his work. Universally, he encompasses both the real and the surreal with humor and emotion, building a passionate world of imagination and provocative thought. “Nature conspires with spirit to emancipate us” is the philosophy which motivates both the artist and his work. Inspired by graffiti, skateboarding, anime, comics, and cartoons, Richmond attempts to bridge the gap between modern cultures and the transcendence of nature.
Joe C. Rock – Reno, NV
Joe C. Rock is a fine-art muralist with an emphasis on street art, graffiti, cartooning and realism, combining them all to create extraordinary works of art. He moved with his mother to Reno when he was 8-years-old. He has always enjoyed drawing but didn’t begin to feel the pull of the artist’s life until his late teens. He is now one of Reno’s premier muralists.
Dale and Jake Slingland – Reno, NV
Dale Slingland is currently working on solo shows, group shows and
outdoor events. NadaDada was a great leap forward to his art career. Dale
has exhibited his work in the Reno area in places such as Artown’s opening
Jubilee, the Wildflower Gallery, Sierra Arts Gallery, Nada Dada, La Terre
Verte, Reno Art Works and the Luxury Suites at Greater Nevada Field
Jake Slingland was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. He would
go on to receive his BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in
Seattle, Washington. Jake has traveled and lived in various
places around the globe, but currently resides in Seattle
for the second time. You can see jake’s cartooning, illustration
and painting endeavors by following @jake.slingland.
Angie Terrell – Reno, NV
Angie Terrell is a painter, printmaker and letterpress conservationist. Her work focuses on Nevada wildlife and the occult. She has a bachelors in painting from UNR. You can find her on Instagram @Fish_Flower_Press.
Dr. Chip Thomas – Navaho Nation, Ariz.
The question Dr. Chip Thomas said he is asked most frequently is: how has a black doctor in his 50s who works on the Navajo reservation started doing street art on that reservation. In retrospect, it was only natural for this evolution to occur.
He started working in a small community between the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, called Inscription House, in 1987. He has always been drawn to photography and built a darkroom shortly after arriving on the Navajo Nation. His passion photographically is shooting black and white in a documentary style inspired by people like Eugene Smith, Eugene Richards, Joseph Koudelka, and others. By going out and spending time with people in their homes and family camps, he has come to know them as friends. Interestingly, those home visits have enhanced his doctor/patient relationship by helping him become a more empathetic health care practitioner.
Thomas has always been drawn to street art, graffiti and old-school hip-hop. He was attracted to the energy of the culture in the 80s and, though was miles away from the epicenter, he thought of himself as a charter member of the Zulu Nation. Thomas would travel to New York City to see graffiti on trains, on buildings, and in galleries. He did some tagging in the 80s before coming to the Navajo Nation and participated with a major billboard “correction” on the reservation shortly after his arrival.
Sage Elementary School Art Dept. Students – Elko, NV
The Sage Elementary Art Department has been painting murals at their campus since the fall of 1992 when it was a school comprised solely of modular trailers. Each year a contest was held and two student designs were chosen to be painted on the art room walls. The students were allowed an “assistant” to help with the painting which occurred each day after school for a week. In 1996 another contest was added to paint a mural in the gym.
When a brick and mortar school was finally built for the Dust Devils in 2004, new contests were held and murals were painted in the foyer and the gym.
The Sage Elementary Art Department will have several students, along with their art teacher, participate in the Elko Mural Expo and is looking forward to their first opportunity to paint a mural off campus and outside.
Simone Turner – Elko, NV
Simone Turner is a native Nevadan, born and raised in Las Vegas. She studied ballet, jazz, and tap dancing at a very early age and, after graduating high school, became a Las Vegas showgirl. She danced in many of the shows along the Las Vegas strip, including Jubilee at the MGM, Lido de Paris at the Stardust hotel and the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana hotel. Turner has traveled all over the world, dancing in Tokyo, Japan, Madrid, Spain, Paris, France, and San Remo, Italy. She currently resides at the base of the Ruby mountains and can often be found hiking and scouting for the perfect location to do a quick study in plein air.
Ernie Upton – Reno, NV
Ernie Fresh (Ernie Upton) grew up painting, and doing graffiti art since the mid-1990s.
Combining anime & graffiti art styles to create vivid pop art imagery using a mix of spray
paint and brush painting techniques. The work can be found throughout Sacramento, the
San Francisco Bay Area and Reno. Ernie has been a featured artist at Art Street, Wide
Open Walls, Oakland’s Dragon School program, at several comic-con events, even on
the walls of Riker’s Island in NYC, and are also graffiti painters for Redbull.
VAKA – Reno, NV
“I have been professionally selling my artwork for over ten years. Creating murals and artwork for the community is my passion.”
Sebastian Velasco – San Sebastian, Spain
Sebas Velasco has drawn since he was a small child, but it was in 2004 when he began painting walls in his hometown. He moved to Bilbao, Spain where he graduated in Fine Arts and specialized in painting. He has been selected to participate in fellowships and residence grants, like the “Antonio Gala Foundation,” and the second “Cátedra Extraordinaria de Albacete,” which was taught by Mr. Antonio López. . His work has been exhibited individually and collectively in different galleries. He has received many awards, including first prize in the second drawing international sports competition, organized by the Association of Catalan sports federations, and first prize in the “20 Premio Axa de Pintura, Catedral de Burgos”
During all these years, Sebas has maintained a continuous activity in the street, painting walls in different cities around the globe.
Simo Vibrant – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Vibart is from Argentina and specializes in colorfully, vibrant abstract doodles. He got his start painting surfboards before being approached about painting a mural. He’s been working as an artist professionally for two years.
Peter Whittenberger – Reno, NV
Peter Whittenberger is an interdisciplinary media artist and educator whose work explores contemporary definitions of “self” in relation to the greater human narrative. Whittenberger was born in St. Louis, MO, but grew up in Billings, MT. After receiving a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Montana, Whittenberger moved to Salem, OR before making his home in Reno, NV. Holding an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from the University of Nevada, Reno, Whittenberger has shown his work in a variety of exhibitions, screenings, and festivals across North America, Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe. Whittenberger is currently an Adjunct Professor at Truckee Meadows Community College and a Teaching Artist through the Sierra Arts Foundation. One of the pieces he will be showing in Elko has been accepted in the Supernova’s competition, the only competitive digital animation festival in the world.
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MAJOR EVENT SPONSORS
This event was a community initiative made possible by the following local businesses.