Art Spot Reno has helped change the landscape of downtown Reno!
On Oct. 13 – 15, we invited 30 dynamic artists, including two international, 12 national and 16 local, to participate in the Reno Mural Expo. We watched these exceptional artists transform 31 vacant walls and alleys into an outdoor urban art gallery.
Take the self-guided tour here!
We welcomed well-known muralist and activist Edythe Boone, from Berkeley, Calif., as Master of Ceremonies and presented her documentary, “A New Color,” at the Nevada Museum of Art. The panel discussion that followed with the film’s director, Mo Morris, and muralists Erik Burke and Dr. Chip Thomas was illuminating. Covering approximately 20,000 square feet of wall space, the Expo brought artists using a diverse array of styles, including abstract, photo realistic, illustrative, graffiti, paint brush, airbrush, roller brush, wheat paste and stencil.
“Reno’s murals celebrate our unique community character,” said Mayor Hillary Schieve. ” They are more than just paint on a wall. These murals help Reno citizens understand Reno’s evolving identity. For example, Joe C. Rock’s mural at the Playa Art Park illustrates Reno’s historic wedding trade as well as our modern connection to the Black Rock Desert and Burning Man. These murals are also a great way for up-and-coming artists to work on their skills and showcase the diverse artwork from artists in our community. We also are home to some nationally acclaimed muralists and I think that they will eventually draw tourism to our area to see Reno’s mural landscape.”
Join us for a docent-led tour every first Saturday morning starting at 10 a.m. at the BELIEVE statue in City Plaza. This two-hour walk will give insights into the event, artists and impact public art has in a community. Tickets are $10 and available the day of from the docent.
Edythe Boone – Master of Ceremonies – Berkeley, CA
Edythe Boone, 79 years old, is an African-American artist and activist. She has worked as a muralist, counselor, and art teacher throughout her life in an under-served area in California. She is well known for the many murals she has painted. She started with her painted murals on each floor of a building in Harlem, New York, and her work has expanded through the years to one of her most notable projects, designing and painting the Women’s Building mural in San Francisco, California. She is the aunt of Eric Garner, an African American man who was choked to death by New York Police Department officers. His death led to protests and in part catalyzed the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ricky Lee Gordon – Cape Town, South Africa
Ricky is a self-taught artist born in Johannesburg South Africa in 1984. Having lived and worked in Cape Town he moved to Los Angeles in 2016 to study classical painting. He is well known for his large-scale murals that can be seen in cities all over the world, from New York to Istanbul and Madagascar to Kathmandu. Ricky has been inspired by his experience in mediation and Buddhist Dharma (law of nature) and therefore now his paintings explore the nature of non-duality and interconnectedness focusing on bringing to light relevant social issues. His intention with his murals is to create artwork that has a connection to the people and place in which he is painting.
Ricky only started painting full time in 2014, having his first solo show in 2015. Before this, he was focused on curatorial and creative activism; founding /A WORD OF ART gallery and artist residency in addition to the Colour Ikamva school rejuvenation project. (photo Ian Cox)
Collin Van der Sluijs – Netherlands, and Troy Lovegates – San Francisco, CA
Collin van der Sluijs is a renowned painter and illustrator from Maastricht, The Netherlands, where he lives and works. He started writing graffiti at age 11, and when he was 12 he began his studies at the professional painting college in Goes. He spent the next eight years studying various art disciplines in different schools across the Netherlands and graduated from the Academy of Art and Design St. Joost in Breda in 2004 with a Masters degree in fine art.
He is widely recognized for his extraordinary dream-like depictions of everyday stories that question our personal pleasures and struggles, as well as society at large. Collin’s exceptional work has been published in magazines and books and shown in galleries across the world—in The Netherlands, Germany, France, England, Belgium, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, and the USA.
Troy Lovegates, once known as Other, began to make his presence known in the North American boxcar pool. Working with conventional oil bars used by previous generations, Troy applied not only black or white when he drew, but used both to create distorted, well-rendered characters. What made Troy’s work really stand out was the textured faces achieved by shading using only his fingers. Inspired by the rails, they are unlike anything else.
Sebastian Coolidge – St. Petersburg, FL
If you don’t already know of Sebastian Coolidge, chances are you know his work. As one of the most prolific artists in St. Petersburg, Fla., his massive paintings have played a part in shaping the visual language of the downtown area. A modern conscious creative, Sebastian’s body of work is largely mural-based, but he also works in functional sculptures and furniture, fully immersive interior design, obscure designer clothing, restaurant and hotel design, and has an interest in future sustainable technologies. With a deep connection to the natural and man-made world around him, Sebastian’s future goals include creating cities that thrive off renewable and sustainable resources, while simultaneously using highly creative design to organically and harmoniously fuse to their surroundings.
Joshua Coffy – San Francisco, CA
Joshua Coffy is a self-taught artist living and working in San Francisco. He grew up in a variety of locales, from Ohio to New Mexico to Florida and finally California. Moving from one region to another helped to shape his cultural views of the world as well as inspire him to create art in unique and varied ways. Coffy draws inspiration for his mixed media paintings from the natural world, scientific illustrations and his love of animals. Josh’s work includes many layers of textures including paper patterns, maps, newspaper articles, and acrylic paint. Much of his work deals with animals and how humans relate to the birds and mammals all around us. His work is usually a light-hearted and whimsical approach to our ideas about animals. He has created a sense of symbolism and meaning with many of the images he paints. Illustrating the conversation between man and beast with a wink and stillness for you to make your own decisions about what the image is saying.
Kyler Martz – Seattle, WA
Kyler Martz is a Seattle-based illustrator, muralist, and tattoo artist, who mixes nautical, old-world, and organic themes to create unique icons from our storied past. He has created show posters for bands such as The Violent Femmes, War on Drugs, Sleater Kinney, as well as built an impressive portfolio with clients such as Vans, Hermes, Starbucks, and Levi’s.
Dr. Chip Thomas – Navajo Nation, AZ
The question I’m asked most frequently is how a black doctor in his 50s working on the Navajo reservation started doing street art on said reservation. In retrospect, it was only natural for this evolution to occur.
I started working in a small community between the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley called Inscription House in 1987. I’d always been drawn to photography and built a darkroom shortly after my arrival on the Navajo Nation. My 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, I have come to know them as friends. Interestingly, these home visits enhance my doctor/patient relationship by helping me be a more empathetic health care practitioner.
I’ve always been drawn to street art, graffiti and old-school hip-hop. I was attracted to the energy of the culture in the 80s and though I was miles away from the epicenter, I thought of myself as a charter member of the Zulu Nation. I would travel to New York City to see graffiti on trains, on buildings, and in galleries. I did some tagging in the 80s before coming to the Navajo Nation and participated with a major billboard “correction” on the reservation shortly after my arrival.
David Young Kim – Oakland, CA
Born and raised in Los Angeles, currently based in Oakland, Dave Young Kim attended the University of California, Davis before earning an MFA at Mills College. Being of Korean decent he draws from cultural history, family stories and personal experiences in depicting images of identity. In his contextualized works, he uses the specific to talk about universal ideas of the human condition. Ultimately his work is premised on the idea that we are all looking for a place to call home.
His work can be found internationally including in Norway, Korea, Mexico, and in various cities in the United States.
Fallen Rose – Miami, FL
Painter, lover, poet, and dream chaser at Global Street Artist. Fallen Rose is an ambidextrous painter based in Wynwood, Fla., signing also under Lefty when using his left hand. First gaining his notoriety in the group called 2square before going solo. His murals can be found on walls around the globe, in magazines, newspapers, and books.
Kelly Peyton – Portland, OR
Kelly Peyton’s art career began in her hometown, Reno, Nev., where she received a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Nevada, Reno. After making her mark on a slew of buildings around Reno, including the Great Basin Community Food Co-op, Nevada Fine Arts supply store, and various walls in Midtown, Peyton took her passion for painting large scale to Oaxaca, Mexico for an artist residency. While falling in love with the culture of Mexico, she was most struck by the glorious, colorful, handmade textiles that adorned every store, shop, and restaurant. Upon returning from the two-month trip, Peyton left Reno and headed to graduate school in Portland, OR. In the Summer of 2016, she received her MFA in Applied Craft and Design. Peyton still resides in Portland, where she is starting a hand-woven, sustainable textiles brand. Nonetheless, she can’t wait to get on a ladder again and paint some walls in her beloved hometown.
Yale Wolf – Seattle, Wash.
Reno born, living in Seattle, Yale Wolf works in design & fabrication.
Erik Burke – Reno, NV
Erik Burke lives in Reno, Nev., and creates place-specific murals throughout the world. His latest works can be seen in Korea, Italy, Norway, and closer to home in Reno. His work has been published in the book ‘Street Art; The Best Urban Art from Around the World’, ‘Outdoor Gallery’, The Huffington Post, Village Voice, and the New York Times. He enjoys time with his family and living where there are no mosquitos.
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 came with his mother to Reno when he was 8-years-old. He 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.
Bryce Chisholm is an artist born in Reno, Nev. Bryce attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where under the guidance of Professor Michael Sarich, his art began to grow. Exploring many subjects from history, Bryce has always had a fond liking for undervalued beauty. Finding the best parts of a dirty city has led to his love of graffiti and street art. The message graffiti can get across is very powerful to Bryce and inspires him to push his art in ways that portray real human emotions with a raw street feel.
Ahren Hertel is an art professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, as well as a fantastic local artist. He paints with a style that mixes both realism and abstractism subtly and successfully. His paintings are a mix-up of people, animals, and local environment, all portrayed in interesting scenarios and situations. This is Ahren’s first outdoor mural.
Mike Lucido – Reno, NV
Mike Lucido is a working artist/illustrator from Reno, NV.
Nathaniel Benjamin – Reno, NV
In his childhood, Nathaniel Benjamin‘s family moved throughout the US, spending the most time in the Midwest. He studied graphic design in Flagstaff, AZ, then took three year hiatus to explore America by bicycle. In 2013 he settled in Reno, NV, where he currently studies art, his lifelong passion. In addition to being a student in printmaking at UNR, he is a sign painter, muralist and chalk artist for local businesses.
Asa Kennedy – Reno, NV
Asa Kennedy was born in a trailer on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico. No records are available as to whether or not lightning struck that night. As the millennium came to close, Asa moved to Portland, Oregon to attend a private Liberal Arts college with the focus of acquiring a degree in fine arts. Two semesters were plenty of time to understand that this bill could not be paid. He remained in Portland for nine years continuing to hone a painting craft. Asa was a member of the Portland Mural Defense, a group dedicated to rewrite zoning laws in partnership with the city of Portland to allow mural painting more accessibility.
“Along with maintaining a studio painting practice, I am a mural artist with vested interest in public works. Outside Walls become a gallery which reach a larger audience and more importantly, belong to the community. From my experience, mural painting always activates dialogue, fosters new relationships, and literally changes the urban landscape. The latter bringing inspiration to neighborhoods under social duress where residents can witness a physical change that leaves a positive landmark.”
Emily Reid – Reno, NV
Along with being an artist, Emily is an arts educator and mother living and working in Reno. Her work brings light, whimsy and a sense of creative play.
Lisa Kurt – Reno, NV
Lisa Kurt is an artist and illustrator living and working in the high desert mountains of Reno, NV. She specializes in children’s and editorial illustration. Originally from Massachusetts, she received her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Lisa works primarily with acrylics and mixed media; her work integrates maps and other ephemera within her paintings. Through her work, she explores stories that involve people, animals, and creatures in mysterious settings, often incorporating nature and the unexpected. Lisa’s work focuses on themes surrounding childhood, nature, memory, stories, mythologies, allegory, and dreams.
J Darragh – Reno, NV
Jamie Darragh is a 23 year old self taught artist. Proud native Nevadan, born and raised in Northern Nevada. She is new to the artist lifestyle and has only been publicly sharing her art for a little over a year. She is passionate about her community, and truly loves Reno and all of the hidden talent within its city limits. She loves painting, woodworking, and trying new techniques and believes that art is the best way to bring people together. Jamie is very excited to be part of such an amazing community of artists and cannot wait to use these experiences to grow as an artist and person. In her free time you can find her enjoying the simple things, playing with her dog, and spending time with her awesome family and super rad friends.
Stephane Cellier – Virginia City, NV
Born and raised in France, Stephane Cellier was surrounded by art and culture from an early age. Passionate about drawing and painting, Cellier graduated in 1991 from the prestigious French Fine Art School, Ecoles Nationale des Beaux Arts. He also studied under Andre Fish, official copyist of the Museum of le Louvre, and became a member of the society, Les Amis Du Louvre. This background gave him the opportunity to create his own unique style, mixing classical techniques from the old French Masters to modern themes. He currently lives with his wife and son in Virginia City, NV.
Rafael Blanco – Quincy, CA
Native of Alicante (Spain), artist Rafael Blanco has focused, during the past years, on critical subjects like illegal immigration and American patriotism. Identity and human expression are relentlessly present in his pieces, which tend to question the nature of our society. Blanco earned his MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) at the University of Nevada, Reno where he became associated faculty. Since 2014, Blanco became the Art program Coordinator at Feather River College, where he currently teaches diverse Studio and Art History courses. Even though he was classically trained as a studio artist, Public Art has become, in recent years, one of his main purposes in his creative process. The challenge of creating massive scale paintings in public spaces motivates him to experiment his classical training mixed with street art.
Ryan Fassbender – Reno, NV
Ryan Fassbender was born in Taos, NM but grew up in Minneapolis, MN and Arcata, CA. He has lived in the Reno-Tahoe area for the last fourteen years doing house painting and sign painting. Ryan creates his artwork using spray paint, traditional brushes and air brushing.
My name is Anthony Ortega. I am a local artist born and raised in Reno, Nevada. My style is usually along the lines of psychedelic and spiritual. I’ve been painting my whole life. I do tattoos for a living and own my own private studio called EQ LD creations the in downtown Reno. I paint with mostly acrylic and spray paint but versatile with all other mediums.
Hernan Borrero is a muralist born and raised in Reno, Nevada. 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.
Peter Whittenberger – Digital Projection – Reno, NV
Peter Whittenberger is an interdisciplinary media artist and educator whose work explores contemporary definitions of “self” in relationship 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.
“Instead of creating works of yearning for a possibility or other, my intention is to create a reflective state of acceptance in the present. Through embracing our true nature and its peripheral influence on all of time, it is possible to accentuate parallels in all of human existence and in our contemporary communities. I question the notion of a single or universal path, but I believe significant similarities can be discovered in our shared, global context.”