Cheers for the holidays at the Art Center |

Cheers for the holidays at the Art Center

CAC’s annual Holiday Art Bar will be held at the Art Center tonight from 5-9 p.m.

Plan on dropping by for a cup of holiday cheer and visit with friends. The newly revamped ChArts Store will also be open, so you can peruse the new inventory for your holiday shopping needs.

The store will also be open Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Two new exhibitions will also be on view at the Center — Reno artist, Michelle Lassaline, is showing “Cirque,” a selection of recent paintings, drawings and sculpture in the Classroom Gallery.

The E.L. Wiegand Gallery will feature, “I Wonder If I Care As Much,” a large-scale, mixed-media installation by Reno artists Timothy Conder, Nick Larsen and Omar Pierce.

On the recent new books of interest front, you might want to check out “The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World (Knopf) by Andrea Wulf.

It’s her study of the fascinating, and mostly forgotten, life of the German naturalist whose studies can been seen as precursors for the establishment of what has become known as modern environmentalism.

Humboldt (1769-1859) was an eccentric explorer of the Americas and his (then radical) idea of nature as a global and inter-connected force has had a lasting impact on our sense of the natural world.

His travel and explorations led to climb volcanoes in South America and track the spread of anthrax in Siberia. But his travels in North America resulted in his name being attached to thirteen towns, a river, four counties and numerous parks, lakes and mountains.

He discovered and mapped similarities between vegetation on different continents in what, subsequently, became known as climate zones. Wulf also discusses, in depth, his prescient predictions of impending human-induced climate change — currently the subject of a world-wide gathering in Paris.

There are asides on his relationships with folks such as Tomas Jefferson and Simon Bolivar and Wulf addresses the influence his writings has on other naturalists and poets from Wordsworth and Goethe to Charles Darwin.

A well researched and compelling journey through the life of an important figure in our conceptions of the natural world.

Kirk Robertson covers the arts and may be reached at