Carson High senior teams with Carson City arts and culture commission

Jazlyn Duran, a senior at CHS, sorts through original oil and acrylic paintings by former Carson artist Carol Benson at the Carson City Senior Center.

Jazlyn Duran, a senior at CHS, sorts through original oil and acrylic paintings by former Carson artist Carol Benson at the Carson City Senior Center.

Carson High senior Jazlyn Duran puts her artistic passion to work this month for the benefit of the Carson City Senior Center and its Meals on Wheels program recipients, as she helps with the installation of art donated by former Carson City artist, Carol Benson, for her senior project.

Duran, who has a self-proclaimed love of art of all genres, from music to literature to painting, learned of this opportunity from her senior project supervisor at school, who introduced her to Mark Salinas, the arts and culture coordinator for Carson City, who also sits on the board for the Nevada Arts Council.

“And now, we’re working to make it happen,” she said.

For her project, Duran will log her hours working with Salinas and write a paper on how the project helps her learn more about art as a potential career choice and how the project impacted her on a personal level.

Duran said that seeing all the donated artwork with Salinas makes her want to paint more. She focuses on watercolors and realism with people as her subjects, but wants to get into oil painting.

“It’s a hobby right now, but I’d love for it to be a career,” she said. “Now that I know there are so many ways to express art, I love that I can possibly make it a career.

As she learns about how art is integrated into the community, she said she is realizing there is more of a future for her in art after high school.

Salinas said he is pleased to serve as Duran’s mentor for her senior project.

“Art is especially important to her and she’ll be accompanying me on several projects connecting arts to Carson’s community, be it curating and installing artwork, assisting city/state arts collaborations, or job shadowing me at next month’s Cultural Commission meeting.”

Salinas said artists contribute to the quality of life in Carson City in many ways.

“Carol Benson has donated months, if not years, of her creativity to enhance the day-to-day lives of our at-home seniors, reminding them that they are still a part of our community. Through the Senior Center’s innovation, hundreds of gifted paintings will find homes, defining Carson City as kind, caring and creative,” Salinas said.

Courtney Warner, executive director of the CCSC, said the plan is to distribute much of the Benson artwork to the 300 daily recipients of the Meals on Wheels program to help brighten their day with a gift of colorful artwork of Benson, who is a senior herself.

The art distribution effort, and Duran’s senior project, coincide with October as National Arts & Humanities Month.

For information on the Carson City Senior Center, contact Warner at, or call the Senior Center at 775-883-0703.


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