I’ve done it; I’ve stumbled across the gem nestled humbly amongst all of the dirt. I’ve discovered what I would consider to be one of Reno’s richest and liveliest art locations and it’s right in my backyard. Yes, just a few blocks down the street from my house is the fresh new gallery called Indie Reno. I understand that it may seem like a bit of an overstatement, but I am wholeheartedly sincere when I gush for this quaint gallery located on W. Fourth St. near McCarren.
Okay, so the location is a bit offbeat, and–unless your curiosity drives you to snoop a lot, like my own–the outside may be a bit confusing and off-putting, but what’s inside is pure, unique, gold. It is a locally owned and run, co-operative gallery, but instead of featuring one artist, this gallery has roughly 50. I’m serious when I say you can find just about everything in this place.
It’s true, a huge collective of local artists got together one day (maybe drank some coffee, smoked a few cigarettes–I’m sure it wasn’t so provocative, I just like to embellish in my mind) and decided that the days of hoofing it to craft fairs–lugging heavy displays and fragile art, living on street food, and the fleeting hope of a successful day–were finally over, and the days of a simple store front were here. They took a previously run gallery, revamped it, and Indie Reno was born.
Did I mention this place has everything? There are roughly ten rooms (it really depends on how you define room; some are just closets, or small sun-areas), each with different types of art, by different artists, with differing themes that range from local inspiration, to exotic, other-worldly flair. The displays change weekly, simply because it adds to the fluidity and realism that defines the place. Each month, a featured artist graces the front room with the collection of their work (right now it’s paintings by Lilly Reaves), and each month they have a gallery-opening party to celebrate–art, food, and great people, why wouldn’t you want to go? There are even art classes offered in the back room which include every kind of form; there’s more information and a calendar here!
I mentioned it earlier, but I think it’s important to state again that Indie Reno is a co-op; a collective group of artists who not only supply the work shown, but pitch in when they can to help organize and run the place. This gives it a personable, fun feel that couples well with the flow throughout. The artists are not charged a monthly fee either, but instead are charged a small percentage if–and only when–they are able to make a sale; this place is clearly geared with art at the core of its heart and mind.
Just about anyone can include their work in the Indie Reno collection (I didn’t see any X rated works, but maybe that’s just because no one has asked?), all they have to do is find Shelly Jackson, who acts as the curator-coordinator-go-to-gal. It isn’t necessarily required that a contributor volunteers their time, which is nice for busy schedules, but it seems like they don’t have to twist any arms anyway–each time I’ve gone in there’s been a different person running it, greeting me with a smile, being enthusiastic and beyond helpful, seeming like they truly love what they do. Ah, now this is where art deserves to live.
I sincerely urge everyone to check out Indie Reno at least once (or once a week, since it changes that often) because this place is a true treasure. Even if you aren’t crazy about art, there’s all kinds of other eye goodies to feed your peepers with, so go in, peruse around a bit, and fall in love–just like I did.