Art exhibit opens at WNC’s main gallery | NevadaAppeal.com

Art exhibit opens at WNC’s main gallery

Curiosity drives Jill Brugler artistically, and she hopes “Dirty Diapers/Rabbit Ears” will attract the curious to the Western Nevada College’s Main Gallery to see her clay and ceramic exhibit.

“Dirty Diapers/Rabbit Ears” will be shown through Feb. 3.

“In showing this body of work, I am hoping to express a certain feeling I have as an artist working primarily in clay and ceramics,” said Brugler, a ceramics instructor at WNC. “The feeling I am trying to express is that of the curious. The curiosity of form, clay, ceramic, glaze and concept.

“My aspiration in installing “’Dirty Diapers/Rabbit Ears’ is to reflect those interests I have as a women and as an artist.”

Brugler’s passion for creating form from clay runs deep.

“I am creating ceramics based on my background in clay and art,” she said. “I believe a great mug is as creative as an effigy or sculpture. Clay is a billion-year-old medium, full of form. Each time I work with clay, I learn a little something new about clay, form, ceramic and glaze. A humbling occupation.”

Brugler struggles to explain why she and other artists create art, but it’s a career that gives her life symmetry.

“I find there is a balance in life and in art. We don’t really know why we make art,” Brugler said. “Human beings all over the world have chosen to be artists and to be a part of the world in balance with nature, animals and other beings.”

During the spring semester at WNC, Brugler will be teaching two sessions of Ceramics I classes, and Victoria Buck will oversee a Ceramics II course. For more information on those classes or to register, go to http://www.wnc.edu/class-schedule/?term=2172.

Town of Murphys captures Motherlode’s flavor

The Northern California hamlet of Murphys is one of those rare places that seem to have avoided the coming of the 21th century.

While the streets are paved and lined with cars and there are plenty of hanging wires and phone poles, Murphys (no possessive “s” in the name) still looks pretty much like it did when it was founded nearly a century and a half ago.

Located in California’s Motherlode country, once a prosperous mining region of the state, Murphys was founded in 1848 during the peak of the California Gold Rush. Two brothers, Dan and John Murphy, set up a trading tent and dig area and were soon joined by others.

In less than a year, some 50 tents, crude shanties and a couple of block houses had been erected in the small camp. John Murphy was a shrewd businessman and reportedly departed the camp a year later with more than $1.5 million in gold.

By 1850, Murphys had 1,200 residents, a post office, dozens of businesses and a stage line. The town rode the gold rush rollercoaster for the next decade (the population peaked at about 3,000 in 1852).

During the 1850s, Murphys prosperity earned the town the title, Queen of the Sierra. A total of $15 million was generated in its first decade from placer mining.

The gold found in Murphys wasn’t easy to extract. While the soil unusually rich—some placer holdings produced as much as 16 ounces of gold to the pan — the work was extremely hard, requiring miners to stand in chilly water all day or chip away at hard rock in 100-degree heat.

Not surprisingly, Murphys had its share of diversions, such as dozens of saloons, gambling halls, red light districts and opium dens.

Outlaws, too, found success in Murphys darker corners. Notorious California bandit Joaquin Murrieta mined and ran a gambling parlor at Murphys, then was run out by anti-foreigner thugs. In response, he embarked on his infamous career as a robber and killer.

The towns fortunes began to wane in the 1870s but it continued to thrive as a result of lumber, farming and other industries (including, more recently, tourism).

Today, Murphys boasts a remarkable number of surviving historic buildings and homes. Main Street is lined with several dozen picturesque commercial structures while the side streets are filled with quaint homes.

The most prominent building is probably Murphys Historic Hotel, built in 1856. The two-story structure, originally called Sperry and Perrys Hotel, was partially burned in a disastrous fire in 1859 but was rebuilt. Parts of the town were also damaged by fires in 1874 and 1893.

The hotel, which has been restored as a bed and breakfast, has hosted various dignitaries over the years such as Ulysses S. Grant, Sir Thomas Lipton, Mark Twain, Horatio Alger and Henry Ward Beecher.

Another of the towns ancient survivors is the Peter L. Traver Building, now the Old Timers Museum, which was built in 1859. The museum contains thousands of antiques and artifacts that help detail the towns rich history.

Other historic structures include: the Jones Apothecary Shop, also on the Main Street, which was built in 1860; the Thorpe Bakery, built in 1859; the Old Segale Building, built in 1859; and the Rufe and Keilbar Meat Market (1859).

Wandering the town, you can find other unique historical homes such as the P.L. Traver House (1862), the Victorian Sperry House (1857), the Dunbar House (1880-81) and the Chase House (1862).

The latter is interesting because it was the boyhood home of Dr. Albert Michelson, who won the 1907 Nobel Prize for determining the speed of light (Michelsons father ran a clothing store in Murphys).

St. Patrick’s Church on a knoll above the town was built in 1858 and remains a splendid example of 19th century Gothic Revival church architecture. It was built by volunteer labor and using donations of gold and mining certificates from local miners.

Murphys School, built in 1860, holds the distinction of having been the second oldest building in California used continuously for school purposes (until 1973).

No visitor to Murphys should overlook a stop at the local town park. This little patch of well-shaded green straddles a pleasant babbling brook and offers a small bandstand and picnic tables.

For more information about Murphys, go to: http://visitmurphys.com/.

Rich Moreno covers the places Nevadans want to visit.

Artist reception and Holiday Art Bar

CAC will present the reception for the artists participating in the 8th Lahontan Valley Invitational and its annual Holiday Art Bar tonight at the Oats Park Art Center, from 5-9 p.m.

Artists participating in the exhibition of recent works by Fallon/Churchill County artist include Lori L. Bishop, Judith Carlson, Barbara Glenn, Linda Hammond, and Tulsa Harrison.

Also on view will be artworks by Edith A. Isidoro-Mills, Sheree Jensen, Denise Johnson, Dick Keller, Gwynne Matlavage, Kori Meyer, Larry Neel, Michelle Nelsen, Marie Nygren, Sara Wharton Riggle, Kimberly Rowlett, Jaime Sammons, Kevin Sammons, Patricia Kupferer Sammons and Suzie Slaybaugh.

Books to read

Michael Branch teaches in the Literature and the Environment Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. His latest book is “Raising Wild: Dispatches from a Home in the Wilderness” (Roost Books).

It is a candid, intimate exploration of Nevada’s high desert wilderness where Branch, his wife and two daughters have chosen to live in a home of their own design.

He does a beautiful job of conjuring the realities of life in this all too familiar, to us, landscape and seamlessly blends evocative musings on parenting with the natural history of our area. There are tales of family gardens and wily pack rats conveyed in prose that is serious as well as humorous and sarcastic at the same time. As Gary Snyder has suggested, it is a book that “points forward not back.”

Wildness of a different kind can be found in “Soho Sins” (Hard Case Crime) by Richard Vine. It’s the debut novel by the managing editor of one of the leading art world publications, “Art in America.”

It is set in a world that Vine knows well, the downtown Soho, New York gallery scene, of the late 1990s. One of the prime players in that world is found murdered in her loft and immediately thereafter her husband confesses to shooting her.

And, as in all good fairly dark, noir (which the cover promises to deliver), things are not what they first seem to be. The husband may have been across the country in California at the time.

An art dealer takes it upon himself to try and unravel what might have really happened and plunges us into twisted and inter-woven tales of the money-driven, sex-driven art world, leading to a not-exactly anticipated plot twist at the end.

The conventions of the pulp genre are nicely conjured and well-suited to this page-turner and Vine is especially adept at blending his fictional characters with real Soho-Tribeca art world places, from the gallery laden streets of Chelsea to the Odeon the once again popular go-to dining spot evoked in the opening paragraph.

Kirk Robertson covers the arts and may be reached at news@lahontanvalleynews.com

‘Elf, Jr.’ starring local youth plays Dec. 2-11 in Carson City

“Elf,” the 2003 holiday film starring Will Ferrell, is being brought to life in the form of a musical by Wild Horse Children’s Theater.

The Northern Nevada premiere of “Elf, Jr., The Musical” is taking place weekends Dec. 2-11 at the Brewery Arts Center.

The fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. As a young orphan, Buddy mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised unaware he’s actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth.

With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality his father is on the naughty list, and his step-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

The Carson City production is a kid-friendly, shortened version of this modern day holiday classic that’s sure to make everyone embrace his or her inner elf. After all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Show times are at 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. The performance will be in the BAC’s Performance Hall, 511 W. King St.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors and students and $5 for ages 4-12. Bring a nonperishable food item for the Ron Wood Family Resource Center and receive a free raffle ticket.

For tickets, go to http://www.wildhorsetheater.com, or call the box office at 775-887-0438. There’s no service charge to buy tickets online.

For more information, call the Wild Horse office at 775-887-0438 or email pat@wildhorsetheater.com.

Tintabulations handbell ensemble performing holiday music in Carson City

A Reno handbell ensemble is ringing in the holiday season with a series of performances planned this month around the region.

Internationally acclaimed handbell ensemble Tintabulations is presenting its Christmas concert series, “Thanks for the Socks. ”

One of two handbell ensembles asked to represent the United States at the International Handbell Symposium held in Vancouver, B.C. this past July, Tintabulations’ performance caught the eye and ear of directors from around the world, resulting in invitations to perform in every corner of the globe.

Formed in 1996, the ensemble is comprised of 15 local musicians performing on 120 hand bells and chimes. Its members are college students, music teachers, professionals from other walks of life and retirees.

Members are from Carson City, Dayton, Fallon, Reno, Sparks, Lake Tahoe and Bishop. The international competition in British Columbia was a first for the ensemble.

The group’s holiday performances are being held in Reno, Fallon, Sparks, Carson City and Fernley.

Area performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at First Baptist Church, 485 E. Main St., Fernley; 2 p.m. Dec. 18 at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 341 Village Blvd., Incline Village; 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Family, 1201 N. Saliman Road, Carson City; and 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Marriott Courtyard, 3870 S. Carson St., Carson City.

For a full schedule and more information, go to http://www.tintabulations.com, or find Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble on Facebook.

Carson City area live entertainment for Dec. 1-7, 2016

The Whiskey Heroes at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at McFadden Plaza during the Holiday with a Hero pub crawl in downtown Carson City.

Live music from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Bella Fiore Wines, 224 W. Third St., Suite 8.

John Underwood at 8 p.m. Friday at Sassafras, 1500 Old Hot Springs Road.

The Nighthawks at 6 p.m. today and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden.

Consort Canzona’s free “Lessons and Carols” holiday concert at 7 p.m. Friday at Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church, 3680 Highway 395, just south of Best Buy; and at 5 p.m. Saturday at Carson Valley United Methodist Church, 1375 Centerville Lane in Gardnerville.

Capital City Community Band’s “Salute to Bob Hope,” a free holiday and patriotic concert, at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Bob Boldrick Theater inside the Carson City Community Center.

Cool Phat Daddy from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday at the Carson Nugget Sports Bar, 507 N. Carson St.

Mo’s Motley Blues Band at 8 p.m. Friday at Genoa Bar, 2282 Main St., Genoa.

Gary Douglas from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Js’ Old Town Bistro in Dayton.

The Trippin’ King Snakes from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Red Dog Saloon, 76 N. C St. in Virginia City, and from 9 to 11 p.m. Sunday at the Hard Rock Cafe inside Harvey’s in Stateline.

Bread and Butter at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Casino Fandango, 3800 S. Carson St.

Local singers and songwriters performing their own work at 6 p.m. Friday at Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St.

Live music with Terri Campillo and Craig Fletcher from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at Glen Eagles, 3700 N. Carson St. Campillo and Fletcher are joined by Mick Valentino today and Rocky Tatterelli on Friday and Saturday.

Karaoke at The Y-Not Saloon, 152 E. Long St., from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday.

Corky Bennett from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at La Posada Real, 3205 Retail Drive.

Hallie Kirk at Comma Coffee during the Carson City Wine Walk at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Tom Miller at 6 p.m. Saturday at Sassafras, 1500 Old Hot Springs Road.

Karaoke at Beercade, 1930 N. Carson St., adjacent to Carson City Inn, from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturdays.

CW and Dr. Spitmore at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St.

Daniel Gaughan from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Genoa Lakes Golf Course & Resort, 1 Genoa Lakes Drive.

Steve Lord at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden.

Dave Leather’s acoustic Americana music at noon Wednesday at Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St.

Billy Starr at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Red Dog Saloon, 76 N. C St. in Virginia City.

A jazz jam at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Sassafras, 1500 Old Hot Springs Road.

Send live music and entertainment information to jmcmanus@nevadaappeal.com by end of day Tuesday for inclusion.

Even in uncertain times, there’s a lot to be thankful for

Well, the election is over. Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas is fast approaching. Half of the nation was happy and the other half not so much. Whatever your beliefs we’re all Americans, then Nevadans and Carsonites. We as a nation, state and city still have a lot to be thankful for. In times like these, uncertain, you have to be aware and willing to do a little more to support those causes that are important to you.

I just dropped off a check at the Sheriff’s Office for Holiday with a Hero. I encourage others to do the same if you can. It’s a wonderful event for some of the children in our community who could use some extra Christmas cheer and this event does that and more. Shopping, wrapping and just being a part of this day makes you feel just as happy as the kids.

This Friday after the Christmas tree lighting downtown is another chance to help FISH and score some terrific soup from our local restaurants and businesses. Empty Bowls supports this cause all year with the making or painting of pottery bowls and then donating the money to FISH. This is the second year it will be held at the Presbyterian Church. It’s festive, warm and a great place to gather and see your friends and neighbors. I’ll be there serving New Orleans Style Bread Pudding next to Charlie and Karen from Adele’s who will be serving his famous chili. You can even do some shopping because the silent auction has some great buys.

Buy an extra toy while you’re shopping and drop if off at Ron Wood Family Resource Center for their Toys for Tots drive. You can also drop one off at Adele’s when they have their Cookies with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 17, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. I always have an extra stash of dollar bills in my pocket this time of year to put in the kettle for the Salvation Army bell ringers.

Don’t have any extra to spare this year? The Bridge Church on Washington Street feeds the homeless five days a week Monday through Friday. Drop by and volunteer to serve or help with the dishes. Time and food donations are always appreciated.

My friend DeeDee Foremaster from Do Drop In is an advocate for many homeless in our area and when I’m at Costco I pick up an extra 10 pounds of sugar and coffee to help her out. I also save all my travel shampoos, soaps and lotions to give to her. They can always use blankets, coats, sweaters, gloves, scarves, shoes and socks. Clean and used is fine. Their address is 1895 E. Long St. on the corner of Long and Humbolt streets. They really take all sorts of donations because once they help their clients get housing they also help with what they might need to set up a household. At this time of year they need help themselves with their heating bill. Their P.O. Box is 3177 Carson City, 89702. They’re a nonprofit as well.

I’ll leave you with this quote I saw on one of my friend’s Facebook post.

“As we grow older our Christmas list gets shorter and we find out that the things we really want can’t be bought.”

The recipe I’m going to share with you today is great for the holidays and anytime it’s chilly out. It’s not too sweet or strong and really goes well with anything you want to nosh on.

Mulled Red Wine

Ingredients

1 bottle of red wine (I like to use a blend, not too dry and not more than $5, Grocery Outlet and Trader Joe’s have the best selection in this price range).

4 cups apple cider

1/4 cup honey

2 cinnamon sticks

1 orange, zested and juiced

4 cloves

3 star anise (you can purchase these at World Market)

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a pot, heat slowly and don’t let it boil. Pour through a strainer and serve in a crock pot or from the stove. I make mine and put it in the fridge and that way I have it to heat up one glass at a time. Enjoy.

Linda Marrone, a longtime Carson resident, manages the 3rd & Curry Street Farmers Market and is the director of Nevada Certified Farmers Market Association.

TOYING AROUND

NEW YORK — Toys that teach aren’t a new thing, but a growing number are calling for kids to build with blocks, circuits or everyday items before reaching for a tablet screen.

Play is how kids learn about the world around them, whether it’s a toddler throwing a ball or teens playing video games. It’s about seeing how things work and what happens when they do something. And over the years, toys have gotten more high tech to keep screen-obsessed children engaged with such play.

But there’s growing worry among parents and educators that toys are moving too far in that direction. Educational toys that have a math and science bent — marketed under the umbrella of STEM — are now trying to get back to the basics: less screen time, more hands-on activities.

“When kids use their hands, your outcomes are much higher,” said Pramod Sharma, CEO of one such toy company, Osmo. “It’s very different than if they’re just staring at a screen watching TV.”

With Osmo, kids learn everything from spelling to coding not by touching a screen, but by snapping together magnetic blocks. A screen is still part of it; an image is beamed onto an iPad through its camera. But the idea is to have kids learn first with their hands, then see their creation move to the screen.

LEARN BY BUILDING

Educators agree that whether you’re talking about a toddler playing with blocks, or a teen building a computer from scratch, the act of putting something together helps educational concepts sink in.

“The way the world comes to us is actually through tactile activities, so tactile toys where we build stuff are incredible helpful,” said Karen Sobel-Lojeski, who studies the effects of technology on children’s brain development at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York.

Bloxels attempts to bridge the physical and the digital. Kids build their own video games by putting plastic blocks in a special tray, instead of writing out code. Using a phone or tablet’s camera, an app transforms the shapes created with the blocks into digital characters and scenery.

Makey Makey, a startup founded by a pair of MIT students, asks kids to come up with their own electronic creations by combining software, circuits and everyday items like bananas and doughnuts.

GOOD, BUT POPULAR?

Sobel-Lojeski said toys are most educational when kids can learn how things work by building. But Juli Lennett, a toy industry analyst at NPD, said such toys are rarely on kids’ wish lists.

On the other hand, tech toys that have subtle educational value, but aren’t specifically marketed as such, can be strong sellers. Lennett cites Fisher-Price’s Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar, which introduces basic coding concepts by letting preschoolers assemble segments that each tells the caterpillar to do something different, such as “turn left” or “play sound.”

“I’m not sure that kids are asking for it, or that their parents just want their kids to go to Harvard, but it’s definitely one of the top-selling toys this holiday,” Lennett said.

Tracy Achinger, a former automotive engineer in Shelby Township, Michigan, said her 8-year-old son got interested in coding after starting computer programing classes this year. So for Christmas, she’s buying him an Ozobot, a golf ball-sized robot that kids can program by drawing different colored lines or using a kid-friendly, block-based programing language.

TECH HAS ITS LIMITS

Achinger’s 3-year-old son will be getting an iPad this year. She said she isn’t against screen time, but believes parents need to keep an eye on what their kids are watching and playing. She said her older son has been playing creative games such as “Minecraft” for a few years.

“We try to keep it educational,” Achinger said. “I really think those kinds of games get their imaginations going as they create their own worlds.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently revised its guidelines to shift the emphasis away from banning screen time and toward balancing high-quality content with non-screen activities.

That doesn’t mean every toy with a screen is educational. Barbie has her own smart home in the form of the voice-activated and Wi-Fi-connected Hello Dreamhouse. And new versions of Elmo, Furby and the Cabbage Patch Kids have apps, which Lennett said are often more about branding than learning.

Sobel-Lojeski said slapping an app on a previously low-tech toy can backfire. Instead of letting the child imagine how a particular toy would talk or behave, the app fills in those holes.

“It cuts the child off from play that is much more important for development,” she said.

Some of the drive for tech in toys comes from parents who believe that the younger their kids are exposed to technology, the more prepared they will be for a lucrative career someday.

But Sobel-Lojeski said Albert Einstein came up with breakthroughs without ever touching a computer, let alone tech toys at a young age.

“We can easily be tricked into thinking that all this stuff is going to make our kids more intelligent or better scientists and that’s just not true,” she said.

RESIST THE SCREEN

Companies that make computers for kids also see the value in a construction element.

Kano shows kids how to build their own computers in a kid-friendly storybook format.

Kano co-founder Alex Klein said he had to resist suggestions to just put Kano into app form and skip the computer construction all together. He said the act of building a computer was key because it “created a huge sense of energy and momentum for what followed on screen.”

But Klein said screens aren’t going away anytime soon.

“You can’t compete with screens with kids,” he said. “So, for us it’s not about trying to push against what this next generation thinks is good or likes. It’s about providing a new angle on it that’s more creative.”

Gift Guide: Cool tech toys for the kid in your life

NEW YORK — Looking for a cool tech gift for a kid in your life?

There’s no shortage of fun and fairly educational items these days. New toys for the holidays include little robot friends full of personality and magnetic blocks that snap together to teach the basics of computer programing.

Here are some toys designed to keep kids entertained without sacrificing on education:

HANDS-ON TECH

Tablet screens and apps haven’t gone away, but they’re just not enough on their own. With these toys, kids can create and build with their hands, not just a tablet.

Osmo. As kids arrange magnetic blocks or puzzle pieces, their creations show up on the iPad thanks to a mirror attached to the tablet’s camera. By arranging blocks, for instance, kids put together lines of code to guide an on-screen monster. Another game teaches entrepreneurial and math skills by letting kids run their own pizza shop. The base set costs $30. You then buy add-ons, such as coding for $50 and the pizza business for $40. It works only with iPads for now.

Makey Makey. You connect one end to a computer’s USB port and the other to any material that conducts electricity, such as coins or even a banana. Kids can then turn bananas into keyboards and pencil drawings into controls for video games. The basic set costs $25, though for $50, you get additional clips and connector wires.

Meccano sets. This is for the tween or young teen who is handy with a wrench and has a lot of time. Even the trio of smaller Micronoids sets ($40) require a decent amount of time and significant motor skills. The larger models, such as the $140 Meccanoid 2.0, can take the better part of a day to construct. Once assembled, these robots can be programed to dance, play games and interact with each other.

Illumicraft. Don’t let the girly colors or rainbow stickers turn you off. The $20 kit combines science and crafting to introduce basic circuitry. Projects include light-up diaries, jewelry organizers, smartphone speakers and picture frames.

Code This Drone. Software company Tynker and drone maker Parrot have joined forces to create this kit, which includes a drone and a one-year subscription to Tynker’s education service. The kit costs $100 to $150 depending on the drone selected. It teaches the basics of coding through games played with an app-controlled mini drone. Kids can program their own flight plan of flips and turns, or build their own game to send an on-app through an obstacle course, as the real drone mirrors the movements.

CODING FOR PRESCHOOLERS?

Parents with dreams of future high-tech careers are eager for their children to learn computer programming. And some toy makers say it’s never too early to introduce coding concepts, even if a child is still in diapers.

— Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar. Kids as young as 3 can “write” code by snapping together a $50 toy caterpillar. Each section signifies a command, such as “go straight” or “play sounds.” Hit the execute button to send the toy crawling in the chosen order. Older kids can program Code-a-Pillar to reach targets placed across a room, or send it through an obstacle course of their own creation. While the kids aren’t learning a coding language, the toy does try to teach cause and effect, as well as problem solving.

— Coji. As its name implies, this $60 mini robot teaches pre-readers to code with emojis. It also reacts when you tilt or shake it, and you can control it with your phone or tablet.

— Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set. With this $60 toy, kids build a maze with plastic squares and dividers, then program their mouse to make its way through to the cheese at the end.

ROBOTS WITH PERSONALITY

Kids want more than robots they can guide with a remote or smartphone. Kids want personality, a little friend to whom they can relate and who recognizes them.

— Cozmo. This $180, palm-sized robot is expressive, adorable and fun to play with. A team of animators designed more than 500 reactions for the robot to pick from when it sees someone it recognizes, wins or loses a game, or completes a task. The result is a very cute and human-like buddy — think Pixar’s Wall-E.

— CHiP. This $200 robot doggie cuddles, plays fetch and follows you around your house. When he’s close to running out of juice, he even heads over to his charging pad and parks himself. This little guy is very loud when he zips around the room, so apartment-dwellers with hardwood floors might want to invest in a rug.

ADDITIONAL REALITIES

“Pokemon Go” isn’t the only way kids can play with augmented reality, the blending of the real and virtual worlds. And there are toys that make virtual reality affordable.

— Air Hogs Connect: Mission Drone. With this $150 system, kids use an app to fly an included drone over a sensor pad that, combined with a phone or tablet’s camera, places the drone into the game on the screen. As the physical drone moves, so does the one in the game. Kids fly the drone through hoops and shoot down alien invaders. Play is limited by the drone’s estimated 10-minute flying time.

— VR Real Feel Virtual Reality Car Racing Gaming System. This $30 car racing game includes a wireless steering wheel and a virtual-reality headset you stick your phone into. It’s not the fanciest VR technology, but it’s a lot of fun for what you pay. The system is set to ship on Dec. 12.

Local artists’ reception and Holiday Art Bar

The Churchill Arts Council will present a reception for the artists participating in the eighth edition of the Lahontan Valley Invitational, a show of recent works by Fallon/Churchill County artists in the Classroom Gallery at the Oats Park Art.

The reception and celebration of the Holiday Art Bar will be on Dec. 2, from 5-9 p.m. and will immediately follow the annual downtown tree lighting ceremony.

It’s a good time to have a cup of holiday cheer and peruse new artworks by local artists. For more information, you can call Churchill Arts at 775-423-1440.

Works in the show include photographs, paintings, metal sculpture and mixed media works. Artists participating in the exhibition include Lori L. Bishop, Judith Carlson, Barbara Glenn, Linda Hammond, and Tulsa Harrison.

Also on view will be artworks by Edith A. Isidoro-Mills, Sheree Jensen, Denise Johnson, Dick Keller, Gwynne Matlavage, Kori Meyer, Larry Neel, Michelle Nelsen, Marie Nygren, Sara Wharton Riggle, Kimberly Rowlett, Jaime Sammons, Kevin Sammons, Patricia Kupferer Sammons and Suzie Slaybaugh.

The E.L. Wiegand Gallery will feature “Black Lines Broken Lines,” a selection of large scale abstract paintings and works on paper, 1999-2015, by Montana artist, Jerry Iverson.

Iverson will be in town to conduct a gallery walk-through and talk on the exhibition on Jan. 21. Both exhibitions will continue on view at all CAC events through mid-March.

Coming up in January, on the 28th, will be a performance by one of the most acclaimed groups in the Jazz world, the Bill Charlap Trio.

Hailed as one of the premiere pianists of his generation, Charlap is known for his inspired interpretations of standards from the Great American songbook. He’s recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein.

The trio, with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington is one of the leading ensembles performing today.

Tickets will go on sale next month and you can reserve yours by calling CAC. We’ll have more information on Charlap and the trio as the date draws closer.

Kirk Robertson covers the arts and may be reached at news@lahontanvalleynews.com