Teri’s Notebook: Discovering Carson City’s beauty

When Fiona Carrick, 16, Anastasia Alvarez, 15, and KiLynne Muñoz, 14, are at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, they spend the bulk of their time in the arts room.

“We try to do as many arts and crafts things as possible,” said KiLynne.

So the trio jumped at the chance to join the clubs’ art walk on Thursday, led by Mark Salinas, the city’s arts and culture coordinator.

And what they saw gave them new insight to their city and a new appreciation for different types of artwork.

“It opened up my eyes about Nevada not being just a dusty miner’s state,” Fiona said. “It gives us new experiences. We saw how some people even transform trash, rubbish, into art.”

Salinas said the tour was a set up as a pilot effort in coordinating themed art walks. Thursday’s theme was “Then and Now.”

“Our first stop was Erik Burke’s mural so they could understand how murals can revitalize a vacant or vandalized public space,” Salinas said. “They were able to look at the juxtaposed wall and see what a blank canvas looks like and see how a mural can invigorate the landscape.”

The students saw Native American artifacts in the Under One Sky exhibit at the Nevada State Museum followed up with contemporary Native American art on display at the Carson City Visitors Bureau. Jeffry Pace showed them his old Artsy Fartsy gallery then took them on a tour of his new space.

“The last stop was at the Nevada Arts Council where the students were treated to an opportunity to meet the artist, Gig Depio, whose contemporary work was created in his father’s painting tutelage,” Salinas said.

“It’s awesome,” said Anastacia Alvarez, 15. “It shows you all the different styles of artwork in the area.”

Salinas said he wants to arrange more themed tours in the future.

“It’s a way to allow the community and visitors to experience new locations and new concepts about what Carson City has to offer,” he said. “I want to avoid the, ‘I’ve seen it all already’ attitude.”

For his next venture, he hopes to coordinate an art tour for the five senses.

“The goal would be to incorporate businesses, performing spaces and atypical gallery spaces, involving them into the artistic conversation,” Salinas said.

For the students, the walk was transformative.

“I’ve heard people call our city ugly,” KiLynne said. “I used to believe them, then I took a walk down here and there’s so much beauty people overlook.”

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.


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