Capital City Arts Initiative hosting Great Basin Native Artists at Carson City Community Center |

Capital City Arts Initiative hosting Great Basin Native Artists at Carson City Community Center

Special to the Nevada Appeal
From the left are Phil Buckheart, Melissa Melero-Moose, Louinds Garity and Ben Aleck, whose work can be seen in Community Center’s Sierra Room through July 6.
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Seven Native American artists are showcasing their talent in a new art exhibit, Great Basin Native Artists, by Capital City Arts Initiative. The display can be seen through July 6 in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center.

Feature artists include: Ben Aleck, Phil Buckheart, Louinda Garity, Topaz Jones, Jack Malotte, Melissa Melero-Moose, and Steve Nighthawk.

The artists are part of the Great Basin Native Artists group, which began in 2014. They show their art throughout northern Nevada and California. Last year members were included in an Imago Mundi group show in Italy.

Ben Aleck, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, earned a bachelor’s from the California College of Art where he majored in painting. His work, which focuses on cultural and environmental issues, has been shown at the Oakland Museum in Oakland, Calif., and the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

An enrolled member of the Absentee Shawnee with Choctaw roots, Phillip Buckheart reflects Native American styles and spiritual beliefs in his paintings and multi-media sculptures. He uses geometric designs and found objects in his large colorful pieces.

Louinda Garity grew up on the Paiute Shoshone Reservation in Stillwater, Nev. She graduated with an associate’s degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. She emphasizes environmental protection, racism, and generational trauma in her art through humor and beauty.

Topaz Jones is a member of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley, Nev. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She uses a variety of media to convey her narratives.

Jack Malotte, a member of the Owen Valley Paiute-Shoshone Reservation, graduated from the College of Arts and Crafts, now California College of Arts, in Oakland, Calif. He’s best known for his satirical art pieces depicting traditional Indians in the modern world and his Great Basin landscape paintings.

Melissa Melero-Moose is a Northern Paiute enrolled with the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe in Fallon. Her abstract mixed media paintings have been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, N.M., the Nevada State Museum, and the Nevada Museum of Art. Melissa earned a bachelor’s in psychology and fine arts from Portland State University in Portland, Ore.

A descendant of the Shoshone, Washoe, and Paiute Tribes of Nevada, Steve Nighthawk bases his pencil, charcoal, and chalk pastel drawings on the “Circle of Life,” reflecting his love of nature and life. He has shown his art at the Cort Gallery in Three Rivers, Calif., and the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Ariz.

Admission to the exhibit is free. The Sierra Room is open during official Carson City meetings, including from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every other Thursday, and from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For Sierra Room access, call 775-283-7421, or go to

The Capital City Arts Initiative supports artists and the arts and culture of Carson City and the surrounding region. It serves the area’s adult and youth populations through art projects and exhibitions, live events, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online projects. For more information, go to