Brewery displays psychedelic-era posters

A collection of posters from the psychedelic era of rock 'n' roll are displayed in the upstairs gallery at the Brewery Arts Center through Nevada Day.

"Hundreds of people have been up to see the collection," said Phil Caterino, BAC director.

The posters belong to guitar collector Tom Gardner of Reno. The exhibit includes a replica of a guitar used by George Harrison.

According to Caterino, state workers have been coming over for lunch then returning with their friends.

"Tom's really happy with the response," he said.

One of the oldest posters is for he Amazing Charlatans at Virginia City's Red Dog Saloon in 1965.

According to Caterino, between 1966 and 1971, more than 450 posters were printed to advertise concerts promoted in San Francisco by Bill Graham and just by The Family Dog.

In a history of the era, Caterino writes that the events were more than conventional concerts.

"They were social gatherings which took place in a total environment of music, dance and light. They were the precursors of the 'happenings' of the 1960s art scene, and they were the epitome of hippie culture."

The posters tended to focus on the art rather than on the message, according to Caterino.

"They were the first commercial art form to totally subjugate the advertising content of the poster to the overall focus of the artist's statement," he wrote. "This had an irrepressible effect on the future of advertising in general and the poster in particular. Their role was to change forever the concept of what a poster could and couldn't be."

The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. Caterino will be available for questions on Wednesdays while the collection is up.

The Brewery Arts Center is at 449 W. King St. Enter the Artisans' Store then take the elevator to the second floor.


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