New Zealand artist Sophie Scott’s take on Silver City decorating Nevada Legislature |

New Zealand artist Sophie Scott’s take on Silver City decorating Nevada Legislature

Nevada Appeal staff report
Sophie Scott’s painting of historic Silver City draws inspiration from an 1860s photograph.
Courtesy |

Silver City nestled under the hills of the Comstock may be a familiar sight to local residents, but now a New Zealand artist’s stripped-down glimpse of the historic ghost town is decorating the walls of the Legislature.

Sophie Scott’s painting is based on an 1860s photograph of Silver City. She created it in 2015 when she was a resident artist in the Silver City Resident Artist Program, to which she’s returning this fall.

The piece was previously displayed, along with about a dozen other paintings and stencils, during a show at the Silver City School House. It will be up through the legislative session on the third floor near Ways and Means.

A painter and print maker, Scott has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Ilam School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Her artwork offers scenes of familiar places with mere suggestions of buildings and land form. The locations are only recognizable through their landmarks.

“My work is primarily concerned with the stripping back of an image. Through the process I search for the point where an image forms and dissolves,” she said.

She uses stencils to achieve a skeletal effect in her art.

“My work consists of two parts, the painting and the stencil. The stencils are residues of my painting process, which hold traces of the hand on the outskirts of a preconceived structure of voids. The editing process of the stencil reduces the image down to what is essential leaving a confetti of geometrics.”

In addition to creating award-winning artwork that’s been featured in cities like Christchurch, Scott is a shepherd on a high country sheep farm in South Island, New Zealand.

She said she was attracted to Nevada for its resemblance to where she grew up, Kingston, once a main accessway for gold in the New Zealand gold rush. Now, it’s a quiet village near Lake Wakatipu.

The privately-funded Resident Artist Program hosts artists creating in the performing, visual, or literary arts for up to four months. In exchange, the artists offer public performances, exhibitions, workshops, and other events.

In addition to Scott, this year’s program is welcoming poet David Lee, along with new residents such as Danish journalist Peter Krogh Andersen, and Sue Mark and Bruce Douglas, who form a cultural research team called Marksearch.

Though artists have been scheduled through this year, applications are being accepted for later dates. Contact Quest Lakes at P.O. Box 123, Silver City 89428 or 775-847-0742.

For information, see the program’s Facebook page at Scott’s work can be viewed at Rogue Nevada,