Reception for Tuscarora artist planned at Carson City’s OXS Gallery | NevadaAppeal.com

Reception for Tuscarora artist planned at Carson City’s OXS Gallery

Guy Clifton
Travel Nevada
High Desert Alchemy by Elko County’s Gail Rappa will be displayed through June 2 at the Office eXhibition Series Gallery in Carson City.
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A reception and artist’s talk featuring Elko County artist Gail Rappa takes place on Tuesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Nevada Arts Council, 716 N. Carson St.

It’s free and open to the public.

The artwork of Rappa and fellow Tuscarora artist Elaine Parks has been featured in an exhibit titled “High Desert Alchemy” at Art Council’s OXS Gallery since March and remains in place through June 2. Megan Kay curated the exhibit.

In “High Desert Alchemy,” Rappa and Parks explore time, transformation, and death in their artwork.

The exhibit includes pieces from Rappa’s series titled, “Lung,” which she began after her mother died from lung disease.

“The image of the lung has become an important touchstone for me as a reminder of the precious and precarious gift of breath,” she said. “I continue to explore and experiment with variations on the lung silhouette, along with the bird and thorny vine image which morphed from one of my lung drawings. I started with metal, but continue to find myself drawn to softer materials as well as poetry. Like my grieving process, this series continues to unfold in unforeseen ways.”

Rappa creates one-of-a-kind wearable art and sculpture from precious metals, hand-carved elements, and semi-precious stones. In 1997, she and her husband, plein-air painter Ron Arthaud, moved to Tuscarora where they live and work year-round in a restored brick house and assay office from the 1870s.

Rappa is the founder and president of Friends of Tuscarora & Independence Valley and has served on the boards of Elko Arts and Culture and the Elko Family Resource Center. She has taught for Very Special Arts and currently teaches metal fabrication at Great Basin College in Elko, where she helped to create the art gallery and held the position of gallery curator.

Parks’ work “Constellations,” which explores the awe-inspiring high desert sky of Northern Nevada, also makes up the “Alchemy,” exhibit. She’s unable to attend the reception.

A native of Los Angeles, Parks received her MFA from California State University, Los Angeles in 1999. Feeling the need for a different life experience, she relocated to extremely rural Tuscarora, where the sparse landscape’s elusive beauty shaped her ideas about the human relationship to the environment.

During a decade in Nevada, Parks has exhibited at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno; Oats Park Gallery, Fallon; Barrick Museum, Las Vegas; and the DIY art exhibition Nada Dada Motel. She taught for seven years at Great Basin College and twice received the prestigious Artist Fellowship from the Nevada Arts Council.

Managed by the Artist Services Program, the Office eXhibition Series (OXS) Gallery is located at 716 N. Carson St., Carson City and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, was founded in 1967 as the state agency charged with ensuring that state and national funds support cultural activity and encourage participation in the arts throughout Nevada. The agency’s programs and services are designed to support creative expression, animate communities, diversify local economies and provide lifelong learning in the arts for all Nevadans. The Nevada Arts Council is funded by the State of Nevada, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other public and private sources.