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Carson arts group offers shows, lectures and gatherings

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Karl Horeis
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Sharon Rosse talks about the Capital City Arts Initiative on Wednesday afternoon at Comma Coffee. Rosse is the director of the newly formed non-profit arts organization.
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Sharon Rosse says she believes strongly in the reasons art exists. From cave paintings done thousands of years ago in Lascaux, France, to paintings done yesterday at Carson High School, it’s all vital to Rosse.

“Expressing ourselves is something we’re hardwired to do,” she said. “It’s part of who we are.”

Rosse has created an organization to support art and artists in Carson City. The Capital City Arts Initiative will nourish the art community by organizing lectures, gatherings and exhibitions of contemporary work. Her group received nonprofit status from the state in December.

“I’m delighted to be able to do this in Carson City,” said the 27-year resident. “The community has been so encouraging and generous.”

This year’s events are about to begin. As part of the group’s annual art lecture series, L.A.-based curator Julie Deamer will present a talk called “Los Angeles Arts on the Global Stage” on Feb. 4.

Rosse (pronounced ross) hosted four speakers in 2003. Four are scheduled again this year, speaking on the theme “Nevada Neighbors: Contemporary Art Practice in the West.”

“It’s sort of to break the isolation that happens in the Intermountain West,” she said.

The next lecture will be March 3 when Stuart Horodner, a curator with the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, will speak. Two speakers from Las Vegas – art historian Robert Tracey and director of the House of Blues Foundation Kim Russell – will speak in the fall.

These presentations, complete with slides or Power-Point visuals, will be held in the auditorium of the Carson City Library, which is co-sponsoring the series.

The Capital City Arts Initiative will be launching its exhibition program with a show by San Francisco photographer Allen Spore. The prints will be portraits of Carson and Carson Valley residents taken during Spore’s fall residency here, which was also sponsored by the arts initiative.

“All the photos are local – it’s us,” Rosse said.

The Carson City-Carson Valley Portrait Project will be shown at the Carson City Courthouse from the end of February through May. The show will open with a free public reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26

Another project organized by the initiative will be called “FWAC” – the First Wednesday Artists’ Coffee, co-hosted by Comma Coffee. All artists are invited, from writers to photographers, Rosse said.

“There’s no agenda – it’s not a meeting. It’s a gathering, a chance to meet your colleagues.”

The first was held two weeks ago and the next will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Feb. 4.

“You can go to FWAC and then go to (Julie Deamer’s Carson Library) lecture. It will be a progressive-event evening.”

Also organized by the Capital City Arts Initiative and co-sponsored by Comma Coffee is a changing exhibit of local art called “Caffeine. ” The exhibit space will be the orange and green walls in the back of Comma Coffee at 312 S. Carson St.

The first exhibit, which runs for the month of February, will feature the drawings and paintings of twin 17-year-old Carson High School students Rebecca and Erin Higgs. More information on “Caffeine” will be available soon on flyers inside the coffee shop.

The Capital City Arts Initiative is funded in part by the Carson City Redevelopment Authority, the Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.