Nevada drought art photos display closing today

Shown is the Walker River, near Shurz, Nev., a photo taken in November by Nolan Preece, whose exhibit is closing at 3:30 p.m. today at the CCAI Courthouse Gallery.

Shown is the Walker River, near Shurz, Nev., a photo taken in November by Nolan Preece, whose exhibit is closing at 3:30 p.m. today at the CCAI Courthouse Gallery.

Today is the last day to see an art exhibit that showcases the beauty of desert land forms and their lack of water and the range of water needs and uses.

The Driest State: Nevada Watersheds, by Nola Preece, features 29 photographs, many of which have been taken from an aerial perspective, at the Capital City Arts Initiative Courthouse Gallery, 855 E. Musser St.

The artist took the images over the past five years in order to document the rapidly changing environment.

“As the population grows throughout the world and the West, fresh water may become one of our most precious resources,” he said. “I continue to feel an urgency to add to this body of work concerning the environment with watersheds being the most important and crucial aspect of this work,” Preece said.

A native of Utah, Preece has devoted his career to photography, printmaking, and more recently, digital photography. Early in his career, he turned his focus to the environment through work for Bio Resources Company in Logan, Utah, that needed photo documentation for Environmental Impact Statements and data collection efforts on the oil shale tracts of eastern Utah. Preece saw a need to document these huge tracts of land before mining began and the landscape was forever changed. In 1981, the firm commissioned him to produce a portfolio of prints photographed with a 4x5 camera. Twenty-four of these prints are now in the permanent collection of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City and toured in the 1983 Ten Utah Photographers exhibition. Preece is a retired photography professor and gallery director emeritus with Truckee Meadows Community College. He lives with his wife in Reno.

Writer Mary Webb has written the exhibition essay for The Driest State. She writes about arid landscapes, climate, and drought in the west. Her collaborative book, “A Doubtful River,” with photographers Robert Dawson and Peter Goin, was awarded the Wilbur Shepperson Prize for Western Literature. The book examines and critiques cultural perceptions of water use in the Nevada desert in the context of a prolonged drought during the 1980s. She has published essays about recreation and white water parks along the Truckee River, and is researching her military family’s relationship to place after experiencing the bombing at Pearl Harbor.

The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Admission is free. Preece’s display is closing at 3:30 p.m. today.

The Capital City Arts Initiative is an artist-centered organization committed to the encouragement and support of artists and the arts and culture of Carson City and the surrounding region. The Initiative is committed to community building for the area’s diverse adult and youth populations through art projects and exhibitions, live events, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online projects.

The exhibition is supported by a lead donation from NV Energy Foundation. For more information, go to at


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