Desk Doodle 2: Dragons and Dames

It’s the end of my class; I’ve just gotten done wrapping my mind around the concept of language among animals, contemplating whether or not the Waggle Dance that bees do is fascinating or adorable, and whether it’s a safe idea to teach primates sign language (real life Planet of the Apes anyone?!). I’m thinking about finals, and my near move to Seattle, and whether I should wear a casual dress or a nice skirt to the awards banquet I’m attending for my induction into Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society, when I look over and see it: Desk Doodle 2.

desk doodleI immediately (and embarrassingly) whip out my camera, thinking once again about how amazing it is that people find the time to create pieces of art in an hour and forty-five minute class. It is a simple piece, but I think it has a sense of charm. The mystery artist seems to have a degree of comfort with their craft, because the lines are bold and sure, and the only smudging is done to add feeling below the dragon. I wonder even now how this drawing could have expanded, had the spiritless student been given a bit more time (I’m picturing castles, unicorns–you know, medieval stuff).  So I pose the question once again:

Is this art?

 

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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:

Facebook Twitter Flickr : Support local artists and check out Russell’s other work!

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

Art with Heart: Artists Respond to Boston Bombing

Generally speaking, Art Reno Today is about art in Reno, Nevada. Today however, as I watched the news reveal more and more information about the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon, I began to wonder how other people were reacting, and more specifically, how artists were reacting. After all, it is well known that art is used as commemoration for painful events, as well as a form of catharsis for viewer and creator alike–I could only imagine the immense and arduous beauty that would arise from this event. Some of the greatest artists are those who are in the most pain, and in these moments what’s important to do is to look forward, learn, and appreciate the many gifts art has given.

I browsed the infinite Internet, and eventually came across the site, Boston Arts Marathon, which focuses on exactly what I was looking for: a place for people to creatively mourn and support the great tragedy. Essentially, a few art student at the Boston University got together and decided that creativity was the perfect way to support the Boston Marathon, and it definitely is; the group already had more than ten submission from various artists, which will eventually be collaborated into a memorial for next year’s marathon, or sold to raise funds for the families impacted.
Art never ceases to amaze.

The painting on the left was donated by Evan Gildersleeve, and the right was donated by Sharon Naor.

Both paintings shown were donated by Sharon Naor.

I picked out just a few of my favorites to show here, but I highly encourage you to check out the other submissions and appreciate these wonderful people’s support. Which ones are your favorite?

The piece on the left is from Alyssa Aviles. and the piece on the right is from Evan Gildersleeve.

The piece on the left is from Alyssa Aviles. and the piece on the right is from Evan Gildersleeve.

Like a phoenix born out of the ashes, so too has true beauty been born out of a tragedy. If I had more time on my hands, I would certainly create a commemorative image myself, but in the least, these works of art have inspired me to create my own artistic responses to movements that find most important, which if nothing else leaves me feeling hopeful. I have no doubt at all that this will be a successful movement because, as I’ve stated before, people love art, and relate to it for infinite reasons. All of the donated pieces tell me that people’s characters are hard to shatter, and that no matter what, creativity and strong love and belief will prevail.

Seen other inspirational artistic responses to tragedies or strong movements? Let me know about it!

Show I Must See at Reno Art Works

Image

This show at Reno Art Works looks fascinating! I missed the reception (it was last night and I was almost certain I had been hit by a bus, my sinuses hurt so much), but the display is up through the 30th, so I’ll be checking it out soon! Has anyone gone to see this yet? I would love opinions and feedback.

Sneak Peek: A preview of my next Profile

Coming soon: A talk with artist Bryce Chisholm

Bryce

At the beginning of this semester at UNR, I required an elective class and grappled with the decision of either creative writing, or painting. I love creative writing, and since Journalism is my emphasis choice, a writing class seemed, well, logical. Here’s where the stubbornness of the Morgan-psyche came in though. You see, I’ve taken creative writing courses before, and writing is something that comes fairly naturally to me. But painting was entirely new. In fact, the only time I had previously picked up a brush, I put it down immediately and began using my fingers (sounds like preschool, but it was actually last semester as a final project). So the Devil’s Advocate in me decided to go for the challenge, and push myself to try new things.

It has been nearly all of the semester, and I can honestly say I’m glad I chose the road less-travelled. Painting for me is frustrating and complex, yet invigorating and beautiful. It offers me an escape from the left brain for 5 hours a week, and exercises the neglected right brain for a strange sense of completion. I have no complaints (except for the fact that my perfectionist nature takes some details way too far), and in fact encourage people to go out and try the same thing.

My favorite (okay one of my favorite) parts about the class actually doesn’t have anything to do with the class itself though–technically. One of the best parts about going to class is that I get to walk through the Church Fine Arts infamous stairwell. Okay, maybe it’s not actually famous, but it should be, because there is some really nice art in there. Miscellaneous and well know people alike pass through the stairwell, pick up a can of spray paint or a colored pen (these items are left conveniently in the stairwell, in case a random moment of inspiration should come over a passerby), and just do art. I have seen some of the most fascinating and moving pieces within this stairwell, and one of the great things is that it always changes.

Art lives on fluidity. 

So, last Thursday night, in passing through the stairwell, I noticed a new piece and stopped briefly to admire. It was very well thought out and conducted, with bright, balanced colors and complementary content. It was a mix between freestyle spray paint and stenciling, and I truly loved it. I went on, not thinking about the piece much until (fate, or luck, or whatever should have it) the artist himself stumbled across my blog, and we marveled over the unlikely connection. I told him I treasured his work, and hoped I would soon be able to pick his brain to find out how he creates such lovely works of art.

Bryce

Coming up soon I’ll be exploring the world of Bryce Chisholm and showcasing a wider variety of his work, so keep watching for the story to unfold!

Bryce

This photo shows part of the stairwell, revealing just how full of art it really is. (Look at the kitty!)

This photo shows part of the stairwell, revealing just how full of art it really is. (Look at the kitty!)

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!