Art is said to bring life and color to drab areas and Churchill County Manager Eleanor Lockwood couldn’t agree more.
Shortly after Lockwood was appointed in September 2012, she was struck by an idea while attending a meeting in Yerington. Lockwood learned about the opportunities for local artists to have their work displayed in the halls of the administrative complex. She grew fond of the idea and wanted to bring the concept back to Fallon and the Celebrate Us Project came to life.
“This project is about celebrating us,” Lockwood said. “We want to cover our walls so they’re colorful and getting local artist of all ages is what we want. It’s about celebrating our local talent.”
In doing so, Lockwood collaborated with the Churchill County Museum to brainstorm some ideas and then pictures for display. The museum provided quilt artwork from Hearts ’O Gold and Patchwork Piggies Quilting for one exhibit. The museum also provides a permanent display called “Fallon Faces” that helps the museum identify individuals in the pictures who are other wise unknown.
In revitalizing the county building, Lockwood decided to hold a contest that reached out to residents to engage their artistic talent. The contest asked residents to design a new logo for the county. Brianna Currier was the winner of the contest and on Jan. 7, the county commission adopted her design.
With the new logo on file, Lockwood didn’t waste any time getting it displayed throughout the building.
“We have the new logo and with that we have created a new flag and a bronze plaque that are displayed in the commission chambers,” said Julie Guerrero, executive secretary for the Churchill County manager.
She said all of the black and white pictures that were displayed in the commission chambers have been scratched for colorful, vibrant, pictures of Fallon scenes submitted by local artist.
Exhibits from local artists are typically on display for three to four months.
“We usually change the exhibits three times a year but depending on what we have to replace it with it can stay up longer than that, if it’s OK with the artist,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero said there are currently 22 paintings from Arline Lockwood, who is Eleanor Lockwood’s mother-in-law. She said Arline Lockwood’s photos are electric in color and that she uses different mediums such as watercolors, acrylic, gouache and watercolor collages.
Other artists currently on display include Paulie Alles, Cheryl Rice and Rae Stephens.
Guerrero also said that if individuals are interested in purchasing the artist work contact information for the artist can be provided.
A new display presented by the museum is called “Before and After.” The display has black and white pictures from areas in Fallon decades ago with a current photo of the same area. It shows what Fallon use to look like and what it looks like now.
More projects are on the way and with more projects coming up the need for artists is growing.
“We would like to reach out to more residents to display their work,” Guerrero said. “It doesn’t have to be painting or photography; it can be a collections of items, jewelry, pottery, baskets, etc. We have locked display cases that we are able to use too.”
Guerrero said the program would like to dedicate a hallway for the schools to allow students to display their artwork. She has spoken to the principal at Numa Elementary School and hopes to speak with the rest of the principals soon. She said the program would like to display holiday-themed art for the coming months and next year celebrate Nevada’s 150th birthday with art that represents the state.
If individuals are interested in participating in the program and would like to learn more about the guidelines and the program, they should contact the County Managers office at 775-423-5136.