Food For Your Mouth and Eyes: Food Truck Art

This last Friday was Food Truck Friday in Reno, which means most of the food trucks that have sprouted up in the area collect at City Center, downtown, and serve up their culinary best. The food is great, and there is usually a nice crowd, which makes for exciting people watching (and a shirt with a taco on it, that said “Let’s Taco ‘Bout It). Along with good food, the trucks also offer good eye candy—that is, they are covered with some really neat, custom designed art.

I think the fact that the food trucks also incorporate art shows how Reno is trying to kick-start its cultural pulse—blending a community event with good, fresh, local food and art, promoting creativity, and real interaction—it’s about a lot more than just killer waffles and bomb grilled cheese. My favorite is the Kenji truck, but that’s probably because it’s cover with Mario scenes and serves some tasty Korean fusion. I picked out just a few of the trucks that were there (ate at a few), and had my trusty photographer Russell snap a few cool shots of the art that can be found at Food Truck Friday.

I love getting together for Food Truck Friday. I love coming together with my friends, getting some tasty food, and just surrounding myself with the culture and people from the area. If you haven’t gone, go! It’s a great chance to get to know the Reno lifestyle, and it’s also a great place to feed your mouth and your eyes. What’s your favorite food truck in Reno?

Photos all by Russell Eck of REckedPhotography. He can be reached here:

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Artist Profile: Bryce Chisholm

Bryce Chisholm

I love street art; I love the colors, the raw nature of the subject and materials, and I love that its charm comes from the fact that it originated on the streets. Because of the fact that street art is associated with graffiti and tagging however, it has a fairly negative identification. To me this is a tragedy; an highly skilled, highly detailed art form, totally underrated because of misguided perceptions. It sounds like some over-dramatized movie plot, similar to The Soloist, but it really is sad that so many beautiful pieces are overlooked simply because they are done in spray paint and draw inspiration from the streets.

Bryce Chisholm

 

Which is why I’m glad there are people like Bryce Chisholm to change all of that. Bryce takes the skill and practice that it often used in artworks on the streets, and puts them to a canvas, blending the spontaneity of oil painted backgrounds, with the crispness of hand drawn stencils. What comes out in the end are intricate works of art–with small details, complementary colors, and great variety–that harness the badass personality of general graffiti, as well as the class of formal visual arts.

Each piece is unique, drawing on different subjects, and colors, and shapes, and I was so surprised to find out that we had something like this here in Reno–it’s times like these when I feel lucky to be from somewhere that’s cultural enough to take interest in things like art, but small enough that artists don’t have a complex when it comes to the public.

I couldn’t wait to pick yet another creative brain from big-little Reno, and as usual, Bryce did not disappoint. If you haven’t come across his work yet, it will be on display at Reno Art Works May 3 through the 31, and I highly encourage you to go check out his street art innovation.

Bryce

Lets start with the first question, why stencil?
I was going to UNR at the time, doing big oil painting with Michael Sarich. I started painting these things that were two, three colors that were basically stencils and I started wondering why I wasn’t just doing stencils. It started with small things and then expanded. I do brushwork and stuff too, it’s not just stencil.

Do you have schooling, or are you self-taught?
I went to UNR, I never really graduated. It was my minor, and Spanish. I’m self taught with the stencil part. It’s online, with banksy and whatever, but I didn’t know anyone that was doing it.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I did a series of kids, one is my daughter, so that was some of it. I did a bunch of native Americans, and a bunch of animals. I’m really into, obviously, females. I’ve sent prints to Germany, Canada, [etc], and pretty much every state in the US.

Have a favorite artist?
I would have to say maybe like C215, he is a stencil artist as well. He does a lot of street work. I went to Europe and saw a bunch of his stuff. I like Banksy, but I wouldn’t say I do things like him.

Dream job?
I would like to be doing this, of course. I did a Colin Kaepernick piece, and this guy called me to design for the NFL. If I could do what I’m doing, and work it with the NFL or MLB that would be great. I could pick my favorite athlete and design shirts and stuff. I want to go to New York and have a show, and San Francisco and have a show.

What do you aim to do with your painting, other than making money?
I guess I just try to like, portray street art in a beautiful way. Street art and graffiti get a bad name. If I could do murals on like graffiti covered walls and incorporate other graffiti into my work it would be really awesome. If I could just get people to see it as a beautiful artwork.

Bryce

Best experience painting?
I would have to say, doing the Nevada Fine Arts mural. I had wanted to paint with those guys for a long time. It brought together a bunch of really great artists, it was a big space and a really great learning experience. Learning that you can make a living doing what you want.

Worst experience?
Probably when you get commissions, and then don’t get paid. So you paint something for someone, spend a bunch of time and money, and then they tell you they don’t want it. I always get half up front now.

What do you find most rewarding about it?
Well I mean I love to do it, and have people see it. But it’s something that I have to do. The background are like a therapy to me, I mix colors, and paint. When you start cutting a piece, it looks like nothing, and then as you go on it comes together, that’s always rewarding, finishing.

What do you find most difficult?
Maybe people undervaluing it. Everybody wants something for nothing. That’s why I started making prints, it’s cheaper for other people.

How would you describe your style?
I’d say mine is a street art high graphic. I try to make my cuts nice and smooth. I just do it by my eye, not Photoshop like a lot of people do, so I get smooth lines.

Do you think your painting could change the world?
I wouldn’t say in any great way. If I can effect the people around me that like them–I have like 300 followers from Brazil, maybe I can change Brazil?

Do you want it to?
If it could make people see things in a different view or different light… Everyone is going to see something different and it could change the world that’s awesome. If it could change a few people that’s enough for me.

What other kinds of things do you do?
Well I have a kid, so that takes up a lot of time–gymnastics, swimming, etc. I pick up side jobs when I have to.

You’ve lived in Reno pretty much you’re whole life, what are the ups and downs, artistically and otherwise?
I would say as far as ups, there’s a good crowd, good people, positive outlooks, good artists. For the downs, it’s a lot of the same people over and over. There are places like Stremmel that can sell painting for like $20,000, but there aren’t a lot of big buyers, and if there are they only go there. A lot of people love it, they’re into it, they like it, but there’s no market.

Are you methodical and by the books, or impulsive and random?
I’m kind of random on what I work on and how I do it, but I definitely like my method. There’s no set schedule so a little bit of both. My backgrounds are random, I grab colors, do brushstrokes, I add stuff until I like it. There’s no method, just madness, it’s my therapy. I try not to think about it or worry about it too much.

Bryce was great to talk to; he’s a very friendly guy that shares a love of art and a desire to increase its appreciation. He has pieces up in the gallery, as well as on his Facebook page, Abc Art Attack, and as I said earlier I highly encourage you to go see it. Meeting an artist like this reminds me that the practice of art is changing, and what it comes down to is someone caring deeply about their craft. There is a lot of work and effort that goes into Bryce’s paintings (you don’t win RAW Reno Artist of the Year and Visual Art Blast Juror’s Choice for nothing)–my hope is that people really do begin to see the beauty he tries (and succeeds) to convey.

Gallery being set up at Reno Art Works

Gallery being set up at Reno Art Works

Monday Night Mash-up: Top 5 Reno Art Sites

When it comes to the art scene in Reno, the growth is surprisingly promising. When it comes to the resources to find and connect with the art scene however, the pickings are pretty slim. There are a few very valuable sites that I go to constantly when searching for upcoming events, artists, and community gatherings that are most important to me, and I think that in sharing these sites, I can hopefully help spread the word about the richness of the Reno art scene.

  1. RAW Artist Reno is my top, because it shows that the small city of Reno is worthy of being involved in some pretty big name things. RAW has over 78 locations worldwide, so it’s really exciting that Reno has the honor of being apart of that. The site includes information about art, music, fashion, film, hair/makeup, photography, and performing arts, all done locally here in Reno. They host shows that not only allow the artists to show off their work, but also to sell it, and network with other artists or enthusiasts from here and abroad.
  2. Art Spot Reno is a very interesting site I came across a while ago that has proven to be very useful to me. It is a website (and Android App!) that allows the user to search the Reno-Sparks area for art galleries, studios, museums, and much more, that encourages people to interact and add information. The site was set up in an effort to promote the art scene in Reno, hoping to spread the word and spark a new wave of activity in all forms. I’ve used it a lot to find big name galleries, as well as small galleries I hadn’t heard of before. Now I’m just waiting for the i Phone App; then I’ll be in business.
  3. Reno Art Works: this is an awesome resource when it comes to anything connected to Reno Art. There is a page for the number of local artists who participate and contribute–including some of their work and how to contact them–an event calendar that showcases all of the activities they are having in the community, and places to contact them, as well as buy the works of admired artists. It is a nice source for highlighting the local talent, but it is also a great place to get involved, as they offer rentable workshop space for anyone interested in becoming a part of their little family.   
  4. The City of Reno page actually has a surprising useful and interesting Arts and Culture page, which discusses things like ArtTown, resources for events and contributors, and updates about community meetings and events to update the city for the expansion of the arts. This is definitely a more useful hub for artists themselves, as it gives connections directly to the city and what it is doing to promote the growing scene.
  5. Lastly, but certainly not least, is the Art Museums and Galleries page on the Reno-Sparks Wiki page. This is a no fluff, info-only resource that gives the names and locations of a number of the local art hubs, as well as a map that provides for easy navigation. It is an easy to use site, and if you see any issues or mistakes, you yourself can just go in and change them, which again provides accuracy as well as participation within the community.

As I said earlier, there isn’t a lot in the way of information when it comes to Reno Art, but as these links (and this blog!) show, there are people out there who care to spread the word and participate in this lush art environment.

Have another link or resource? Show it to me! I’m always looking for more useful places to find out what’s going on in my community and how I can get involved; now you can help!

Artist Profile: REcked in Reno

Russell Eck

Local photographer on the rise in Reno, Nevada. Find him:

Facebook

Flickr

Twitter

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In order to give back to the community, I figure I can start by getting to know it. Each member offers himself up as a piece to a larger puzzle, but in order to truly appreciate the big picture, one needs to focus in. Right now, I am going to zoom in on an up-and-coming local artist, born and bred, who is taking artistic standards and giving them a much needed modern spin.

Russell Eck is a photographer, specializing in long exposure, infrared, night, and landscape photography. He received a BS in Biology from UNR. He writes for and plays in a local post-hardcore band called A Place Before The Pines, and runs his own music recording studio, called 8 Bit Recording Studio.

Other than the fact that Russell Eck comes across as a busy Superman with a photo-hobby, he gave wonderfully down-to-earth and refreshing answers during my interview with him. A great person with great insight on what it’s like struggling to stay afloat in the river of amateur artists out there.

Lets start with the first question, why photography? What sparked your interest?

I just took it as a spur of the moment thing for school, and then decided that I wanted to do it on my own for the creative aspect of it. I took a class as an elective, and then decided, screw it, and did the rest on my own.

 Do you have schooling, or are you self-taught?

I took one photo class while in my undergrad, then went back and took another after I graduated. Other than that, I’m basically self-taught.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Walking around. I just like to walk. When I want to do photography, I just choose a spot and go out and walk. I rarely go out with a goal in mind.

Have a favorite artist?

Jerry Uelsmann. His style reminds me of my own when I choose to do surreal photography.

Dream job?

Travel photographer, with my significant other. She would do the writing, I would take the pictures–it would be a team thing.

What do you aim to do with your photography, other than of course making money?

I just want people to appreciate it like I do.

Best experience doing photography?

I was doing a night time photo out at Lake Britton dam with my girlfriend and best friend after a long day of wake boarding. We went hiking at night to see the dam. My friend Jake almost stepped on a rattle snake; it was almost surreal just sitting under the stars listening to the incessantly loud dam. Doing night photography is like being in a whole different world; people are never outside, wandering about.

Worst experience?

Down by the Truckee River. I had a shady man approach me, and I had to fend him off because I was worried about him stealing my equipment, or mugging me. That’s what happens when you do night time photography, it’s not exactly safe.

 What do you find most rewarding about it?

I personally do it different than most people. I enjoy the meticulous process of sculpting my photos how I want them, and perfecting the things that 95% of people wouldn’t notice. With night photography, just being outside at night when you’re alone is interesting; you become hyper-aware of everything. I enjoy the guessing game of taking a 10 minute photo, and waiting another 10 minutes for it to process to find out that it was everything and more than I thought it would be. It reveals a completely different world than the human eye can see, especially at night.

 What do you find most difficult?

I don’t find the process of photography or editing difficult. Sometimes it’s hard to have people see my work and therefore care about it. Everything is so saturated now with the internet… It’s hard to be recognized with all the bullshit out there.

 You’ve sort of created your own unique style, why shy away from the typical artsy nudes and light painting niche?

It just doesn’t interest me. I don’t like posing people, or objects, just what I already see.

Do you think your photography could change the world?

Not now. Perhaps in the future when the world changes. I try to capture the way it is in interesting ways.

Do you want it to?

I want people to appreciate it like I do. If I had the chance to effect someone in a positive way, that would be great.

 What other kinds of things do you do?

I write and play music for a local post-hardcore band, called A Place Before The Pines.

I ride bikes, play video games, record bands and music in the recording studio, 8 Bit Recording Studio.

 You’ve lived in Reno you’re whole life, what are the ups and downs, artistically and otherwise?

So far I haven’t really seen any ups on the artistic side. I feel like people don’t appreciate art here–in music or photography. It’s a stifling environment where everyone thinks they are better than each other, even if they aren’t an artist. That’s why I am moving to Seattle.

 Are you methodical and by the books, or impulsive and random?

My subject is impulsive and random. My technique and editing are insanely technical. I hate all of the cheesy effects that people use as a crutch for their photography, but I do understand that it has a place–very seldom. I like to represent the scene as accurately as I can, to make the viewer feel like they were there.

 What’s your favorite piece of yours?

This may sound kind of douchy, but I like all of my work. I put a lot into it, I don’t just snap shoot.

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Know any good jokes?

Knock knock?

Who’s there?

Smell mop.

Smell mop who?

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