Artist Phyllis Shafer to give illustrated talk in Carson City
Meandering rivers, carpets of desert blooms and swirls of clouds set in endless skies are some of the elements that can be seen in the work of Phyllis Shafer, an en plein air artist known for recording the Sierra Nevada.
Shafer, who spent years as an artist in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area before settling in the Great Basin region, will be visiting Carson City to deliver an illustrated talk titled “Painting on the Outside.”
The free presentation, part of Capital City Arts Initiative’s Nevada Neighbors series, will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Community Development Building, 108 E. Proctor St. An informal reception will precede the event at 6 p.m.
Shafer will talk about her career, which has centered on developing a style of landscape painting that’s uniquely her own.
“As I have matured personally, my artistic sensibilities have similarly matured and evolved into an ever-deepening realization of my own private vision,” she said.
Over the years she has explored a variety of styles and media — always with the natural environment as the focal point.
She paints outside directly from the natural environment, allowing her to study her subjects in their rawest incarnation. She said she’s especially interested in the pantheistic quality of high altitude vistas juxtaposed to the microcosm of surrounding plants and animals.
Shafer’s background includes a bachelor’s from the State University of New York, Potsdam, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. She worked as an artist in New York’s East Village before moving to the West Coast. She worked as an adjunct instructor at Academy of Art College, San Francisco; San Francisco State University; and Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill; before accepting a position as full-time instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College in South Lake Tahoe. Now she’s department cochair and gallery director at Lake Tahoe Community College and represented by Stremmel Gallery in Reno.
In February 2014, the Nevada Museum of Art staged a mid-career retrospective of Shafer’s work titled, “I Only Went out for a Walk …” That exhibition, which featured approximately 100 paintings, ranged from work produced in the 1980s to the present. The museum published a book on her art titled “Phyllis Shafer.” In October, the Stremmel Gallery presented “Nature Divine,” a solo exhibition of Shafer’s paintings and prints.
To see examples of her work, go to http://www.phyllisshafer.com. For information about the Capital City Arts Initiative, go to arts-initiative.org.