Artists install new art at Carson City Courthouse
June 2, 2012
Emily Rogers ran a terry cloth over the clear panes protecting her photos.
Kaitlin Bryson ran pink thread through holes punched in library cards that she organized, cut and painted to build into art.
And Amy Aramanda examined the gold-colored frames of her painting-like photos while Logan Lape and Kath McGaughey gauged the angles of display of another artist’s ceramic sculptures.
The group of artists, all with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine art or working toward them, spent Friday morning at the Carson City Courthouse perfecting the displays of the art they’ve spent months or years working on. The show, dubbed New Crop, will officially run June 5 through Sept. 4 in the courthouse at 885 E. Musser St. The gallery is sponsored by the Capital City Arts Initiative.
The displays are as varied as the artists, with Rogers’ photographing old houses in Reno for an exhibit she dubbed “West of Wells.” She said she took her inspiration from old newspapers that featured their addresses.
“It’s sort of about looking at the houses, both past and present,” she said.
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One of the homes used to be a church in the 1930s, she said. Now, its owners have it decorated with an old pew, though they didn’t know of their home’s history.
Aramanda’s photos are of a different sort – they look like paintings at first glance, only to have the photo-realistic eyes or mouths of the subjects stand out. She said she would spend up to nine hours painting and photographing the subjects in poses that mimic works from the masters of the art world, but with a contemporary bent.
One man, painted up like Pablo Picasso’s “The Old Guitar Player,” replaces the mourning face with a wild grin and sunglasses. Another mimes Vincent van Gogh’s self-portrait but with a smirk instead of Van Gogh’s stern face.
She said she changed the poses and looks to “counter the original paintings” and to “play with the context of the artwork.” She said she hoped to trick viewers, at least at first, into thinking the photos were paintings so they would think about the relationship of the two mediums.
“They’re time-consuming, but worth it,” she said.
Bryson said she worries a bit that her project was too big physically for viewers to take in. She combined hundreds of old library cards, painting out portions and cutting out others and organizing them into what she described as a “very non-linear story” with echoes of Nevada history and climate and more personal thoughts. It’s lined at the bottom with dead fruit, punctuating her thoughts on using old materials and what could be trash to make art.
“When things decay, they end up taking on a whole new meaning,” she said, adding about the cards that “people think they’re trash, but I think they’re beautiful.”