Churchill County history inspires mural

Patricia Sammons, owner of Rising Sun Gallery and Art Studios is on a mission to bring historical art to the buildings of Churchill County.

Patricia Sammons, owner of Rising Sun Gallery and Art Studios is on a mission to bring historical art to the buildings of Churchill County.

Rising Sun Gallery and Art Studio’s owner Patricia Sammons is setting forth to bring art and history to buildings in Churchill County.

Sammons has combined her love for the arts and the community into a community based project that everyone will be able to enjoy.

“One day I was peering out of my shop window over at the Heck’s Meat Co., building and noticed how ugly the brick wall was,” Sammons said. “So I approached Danni, who is the owner and asked her if I could paint the wall ... she of course said yes and was thrilled with the idea. From there we talked about what she wanted to have painted and everyone at the gallery ran with it.”

Sammons said the Puffin Foundation West, Ltd. and the Paiute-Shoshone Tribe contributed money to the project. She said Louie’s Ace Home Center donated the paint and art students at the gallery donated their time.

“We started this project almost a year ago,” Sammons said. “It’s taken some time because we only work on Sundays and that’s weather permitting. Most Sundays you could find some of us there at 5 a.m. working on the mural.”

Sammons said the mural should be completed in two weeks.

“Almost everything is done with the mural but we just have a few things that need to be finished,” Sammons said. “We have to finish painting the Puffin Foundation, Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and our gallery logo on the mural and put up a plaque for Louie’s since all of these businesses and people contributed to the project. We’ll also include the Nevada 150 logo and once those are completed we’ll seal it and call it finished.”

The mural on Heck’s Meat Company’s wall depicts important images from 1908-1920, Sammons said.

“The mural has buildings and images that have been important to Churchill County throughout its existence,” Sammons said. “In every mural that we do, we will always include the Truckee and Carson rivers since it has been significant to our survival. So the mural begins at the Lahontan Damn then moves to the court house, the fountain that was once in front of the court house, the train depot, the Stillwater Reservoir and a Native American hut.”

Danni Lecker, owner of Heck’s Meat Co., said she is very happy with the work Sammons has done on her buildings wall.

“I cannot take any credit for the mural Patricia did,” Lecker said. “Patricia was the one who approached me with this great idea … all I did was say yes to it. I’m a huge history buff, I’m a Civil War re-enactor and I use to be a history teacher. I strongly believe that our history is what makes us and it’s important for our community to embrace our history and this is a great way to do that.”

Sammons hopes to paint 10 more murals on buildings around the county.

“I’m not sure why I came up with 11 buildings to paint but that’s the number that sounded right to me,” Sammons said. “I might be painting Kent’s Supply Center next, it’s not official but I’ve been in talks with the owners so hopefully we’ll be able to move forward with that soon.”

Owners of the buildings need to help out with the financial cost, Sammons said.

“One day I had two women stop and talk to me while I was working on the mural and they told me that every Sunday when they’re headed to church they drive down Maine St. past the building to see the progress,” Sammons said. “This mural has made me excited about art. Art like this will bring people to the business and curiosity to learn about the history of our town. It brings attention to the art world. It gives a feeling of accomplishment and encourages the artist to know there’s no limit for them. Art is a great thing.”


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