to Feb 3



The nation’s original cowboy poetry and music festival


The Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering started 33 years ago as a place where Western ranchers and cowboys could gather to share poems about their lives working cattle. From the beginning, it was clear these men and women had found their tribe, an artistic community that few knew existed. Three decades later, the tribe is now a nation of Western poets, musicians, artisans and storytellers, sharing their creativity across the country, telling their stories of hard work, heartbreak and hilarity, and what it means to make your way in the rangeland West.

The Elko Gathering was renamed the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering thanks to an act of Congress. Known simply as Elko to many, the Gathering embraces its role as a pilgrimage destination for thousands of ranch folk and others who love the West and come to learn and experience art that grows from a connection to the rhythms of earth and sky. The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is six days of poetry, music, dancing, workshops, exhibits, conversations, food and fellowship, rooted in tradition but focused on today’s rural West. Join us in Elko, Nevada, and celebrate the arts and cultures of the American West.

For the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 29-February 3, 2018, our theme is "Basques & Buckaroos: Herding Cultures of Basin, Range and Beyond.” The buckaroo and herding traditions of the Great Basin call out to surrounding lands and even across oceans in all their cultural expression, then and now. Among Basque communities overseas and in the American West, traditions of music, improvised poetry, literature, dance, cheese making and more are flourishing. We look forward to presenting these arts alongside other Gathering favorites at the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Planning your first Gathering? Check out FAQs and Planning Your Trip! Tickets to the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering go on sale to Western Folklife Center members the day after Labor Day and to non-members one month later. To become a Western Folklife Center member or renew your membership, click here, or call us at 888-880-5885 ext. 222.

Banner image: Jessica Brandi Lifland;

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to Oct 21

Art + Environment Conference

For three days (Thursday, October 19 through Saturday, October 21), the Nevada Museum of Art will present the 2017 Art + Environment Conference. Our guests will traverse time and space across the unsettled terrains, shifting frontiers, and limitless horizons of a super-region we call the Greater West.


The Greater West was the last part of the planet to be explored and settled by Homo sapiens. It spans the entire west coast of the Americas, from Alaska to Patagonia, and across the Pacific Basin to Australia and New Zealand. It is a geography of frontiers characterized by vast expanses of open land, rich natural resources, diverse indigenous peoples, colonialism, and the ongoing conflicts that inevitably arise when these factors coexist.


The Conference investigates this exploration in multiple overlapping spheres: the cultural tectonics of the New World from Alaska to Colombia; the radical self-reliance and civic evolution of Burning Man; the fluctuating ecotones of rural/urban land use; and outer space—the ultimate mirror for humanity’s aspirations.

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to Sep 4


Burning Man is a temporary city of approx 70,000 people created every late August on the arid "Playa" of the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada. It's re-built with grid precision annually on an alkaline prehistoric lake bed. The city is completely vaporized without a trace when the event is over.


It's considered the hardest to get to event in North America. Ticket prices are prohibitive often $350-$800 each (cheaper if you're poor) and sell out instantly months before. The after-market ticket price soar far beyond, but the organization will void any tickets they catch at gouging prices. There is an ethic to gift tickets or re-sell at face value. The ticket and car passes get you absolutely nothing but entry into the hard packed dust perimeter. It's heavily patrolled by state and federal law enforcement.


It's said that describing Burning Man to someone who hasn't gone is like describing color to a blind man.  It has become a global cultural phenomenon that is being copied with other "Burns" from Australia to Africa. I ran into Brits stocking up their rental RV at a Reno grocery who said it's like a pilgrimage for them.  What started in 1986 as a small SF beach event to burn a wooden man has morphed into a monstrous Dada Brigadoon.


There is no commerce at Burning Man. No bands. No advertising. No promoting. No money. No garbage collection, virtually nothing can be bought. It's not a festival nor concert. Everyone must pack in and pack out what they need to survive. Normal vehicles can not be used once in. Instead an impossible collection of "Art Cars and Mutant Vehicles" sail across the desert amidst tens of thousands of bicycles. There is no trash or waste blowing about -- it's all very pristine generally (minus the Sani-Huts). Cars are searched at entry for prohibited items. Most at event are rigorously Eco to leave no trace. Even dirty water is taken out and not poured on the Playa. There are 10 Principals to be followed.


Burning Man has become a Byzantine ragù of Blade Runner, Mad Max, Hieronymus Bosch, National Geographic, the Phantom Tollbooth, High Plains Drifter, Lawrence of Arabia, Purim, Medieval, Victorian, Shinto and Wicker Man. It's like really camping on a moon of Star Wars. It's real and unscripted and sometimes fatal. Soaring Temples and boulevards and impossible art installations and events in sometimes choking dust storms. The holy and profane mix. From the nude to the elegantly top-hatted on rambling contraptions or pirate ships.

Excerpt from "Temporary City" by Jack Deming

 Panoramic photographs by Frances Melhop

Panoramic photographs by Frances Melhop

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4:00 PM16:00

Sierra Nevada College Midway Exhibition

Sagehen Creek Field Station

Site-specific projects by Sierra Nevada College’s MFA – IA candidates throughout the Sagehen Creek Field Station, located at 11616 Sagehen Rd, Truckee, California 96160.
There will be a reception followed by an outdoor group dinner.
Directions and RSVP: https://attending.io/events/midway


Sarah Lillegard


Jean Brennan

Chelsea Mandell

Sam Shear


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6:00 PM18:00

Desert notes....

In January of 2015, a group of artists spent ten days in the desert in residency at
the Goldwell Open Air Museum in Rhyolite, NV. This group, consisting of Jill
Baker, Megan Berner, Nicole Donnelly, and Jennifer Myers, attended the
University of Iowa together working towards MFAs between 2005 and 2009.
This was the first time we were able to reunite and work together in over 5 years.

We used the time and space together to start new work and collaborate with
each other, letting the work be influenced by the environment and the
conversations taking place. Some individual pieces were completed during the
residency but a lot of the work became starting points for larger ideas to develop.
We experimented with cyanotypes, gathering materials from the desert,
documenting, photographing, and giving ourselves various exercises (i.e., “1
minute photographs” that were short video pieces, going on short walks, and
quick free writing activities). After returning from the desert, we continued to
create artwork from our experience from a distance, sharing images via a Tumblr
page. We are thinking of this work as ongoing—like a dialogue.

Inspired by Desert Notes, a collection of essays by author Barry Lopez, we
imagined that much of what we were doing in the desert were notations,
sketches, open ended ideas, and conversations with and about the landscape
and environment. Our Desert Notes became drawings, photographs, impressions
and reflections, collections, short videos, and performances.

Megan Berner
In my work, I explore the ways we interact with our environment—how we form
relationships with it and how those connections influence our interpretation of the world
around us—what marks we leave behind, the experiences—intangible and manifest,
and the action of moving through or being in a place. I am interested in liminal spaces,
internal and external—spaces that are transitional and in-between, not quite here or
there. Mirages and other light phenomena, states of meditation, suspended moments,
and dream states all occupy this kind of territory.

Nicole Donnelly
Ecology and environmental issues are central to my art making process. For one, as a
hand papermaker and visual artist, this is where my raw materials come from, and
secondly, the imagery I create always pertains to the responsibility we carry to conserve
the natural world. For the last 7 years, I have been creating site-specific outdoor
artworks, as well as continuing to make more traditional paintings and “hang-on-the-
wall” sculptural pieces which incorporate handmade paper, printmaking processes, and
light-weight tree branch armatures. I strive for simplicity in these works: to create a
visual space that any individual can encounter and appreciate for the sake of color, or
form, or imagery. I am in search of that intimate and personal moment, at the juncture of
phenomena and perception.

Jennifer Meridian
My practice as a visual artist and director is rooted in a commitment to understanding
the world around and within me from a feminist perspective. I encounter (inhabit) the
female body as the earth body, and am studying (living) the two as parallels: all trauma
can be seen on both sites as well as all rebirth and reincarnations. I work with a range
of materials: photography, sculpture, video, performance, and drawings. The use of
character and story is also essential to my practice, but frequently becomes fragmented
and ruptured, dismantled and looped. The intersection of media and approach – these
fertile and generous, mysterious crossroads – is where the best work is made and what
interests me the most. My practice is fluid and open-ended. At its heart there is
transformation and evolution. I use drawing as a direct form of mark-making experience,
and feel that it ties me back to my earliest ancestors working in the caves. I value
photography as a way to act as my witness, the extra eyes I keep beside me that help
me see and share what I am seeing. With the performance-based projects, I work with
other artists as a collaborator and director, telling the stories of our lives in unexpected
places and experimental ways. My work moves equally between private and public,
studio and street, and in those movements I gain perspective, clarity, and voice.

Jill R. Baker
Jill Baker is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Oregon. From 2009-
2014, she lived on the Oregon Coast, a place where temperate rain forest meets the
ocean. Like the Oregon Coast, much of her work is involved with isolated towns and
stories, viewpoints and historical markers. “My projects often involve ‘finding my way,’ or
finding something where there is seemingly nothing, about exploring what is around me,
making observations, notations and sketches, and collaborations.” She holds an M.F.A.
in Intermedia from the University of Iowa and a BA in Anthropology from the University
of North Texas. Her work has been exhibited, screened, and performed throughout the

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6:00 PM18:00


In the main gallery at the Holland Project, is the exhibition DRIFT, a collaborative exhibit by Megan Berner and Victoria Buck which includes work derived from a residency they spent together aboard a tall sailing ship in the Arctic Circle.

Also, in the main gallery space there is an exhibition by one of our favorite emerging Reno artists/photogs, Denali Lowder. Inspired by a resilient tree that can withstand and even thrive in the most severe conditions, Denali’s exhibit, Tree of Heaven, consists of beautiful photographs that have been layered up and printed by hand in a darkroom.

Last but certainly not least, in Serva Pool, Elements, an exhibit by Missouri based artist, Laura Bigger, exploring the relationships that exist among humans, animals and ecosystems, and our human tendency to exert control over natural systems.

Closing receptions for all three exhibitions go from 6-9pm on Sat., July 22 at the Holland Project! See you there!!

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to Nov 9

Tahoe Clarity

 The Dome

The Dome

The Capital City Arts Initiative [CCAI] presents its exhibition, "Tahoe Clarity", by artist Dylan Silver at the Community Center’s Sierra Room. The exhibit will be in the gallery from July 7 – November 9, 2017. The Community Center is located at 851 E William Street, Carson City.

Dylan Silver is a Lake Tahoe-based journalist and photographer. He first started exploring underwater at age 8, diving overboard from a rubber dinghy in the coves around Sand Harbor. After finishing high school near Eureka, California, Silver returned to South Lake Tahoe to attend Lake Tahoe Community College before moving on to San Francisco State University where he completed a bachelor’s in journalism. Again, he came back to Lake Tahoe.

As a reporter for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, he picked up photography, documenting the people, environment and businesses of the Tahoe Basin. He always knew he wanted to take his camera into the water to photograph the beauty of the lake’s clarity. It took a fortuitous bid on eBay to gain the necessary equipment. When his funky, red underwater camera housing arrived in December, 2014, Silver was in the water the next day.

Over the next two years, he shot for more than 60 days and gathered more than 100,000 images. He swam at least once every month of the year, sometimes in water that hovered around 40 degrees. In July, 2016, he started sharing the images under the banner Tahoe Clarity.

Silver earned his M.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2017 and lives in South Lake Tahoe, California. More of his work can be found on tahoeclarity.com, Instagram.com/tahoeclarity, facebook.com/tahoeclarity, and his personal website, dylansilver.com.

During the exhibition, Silver will give talks about his work to art students at local high schools.

The Sierra Room is open to the public during the City’s official public meetings — most weeknights Monday - Thursday, 5pm - 8pm. For Sierra Room access, call 775.283.7421, email to info@arts-initiative.org, or check meeting schedules online at www.carson.org/government/meetings-and-events

The Capital City Arts Initiative is an artist-centered organization committed to the encouragement and support of artists and the arts and culture of Carson City and the surrounding region. The Initiative is committed to community building for the area's diverse adult and youth populations through art projects and exhibitions, live events, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online projects.

The Capital City Arts Initiative [CCAI] is funded in part by the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, Nevada Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts, City of Carson City, Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation, U.S. Bank Foundation, and John and Grace Nauman Foundation.

For additional information, please visit CCAI’s website at www.arts-initiative.org.

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to Jul 31


 Kate O'Hara designed this years Artown logo

Kate O'Hara designed this years Artown logo

ARTOWN is a multitude of events all over town, every day of July....

From Basque festivals, chefs cook offs followed by a movie, art workshops, open studios at the Riverside artist lofts and Discover Dickerson....to artist lectures at the Nevada Museum of Art, hula classes for kids, and tours of historic graveyards... July has a pretty good selection of events to choose from. Find your little Artown guide booklet or follow this link below to find out what is going on each day.

Reno is Artown

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6:00 PM18:00

Nes Lerpa Artist Talk

 photograph by Frances Melhop

photograph by Frances Melhop

Thanks to a collaboration between Danish artist Nes Lerpa, West Elm, and Sierra Arts Foundation, there is a new abstract show installed at the Historic Reno Post Office building.


Artist talk to be held at West Elm 6-8pm June 22nd, all welcome!

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to Jun 18

Stewart Pow Wow

This is always amazing!!!!

 photograph courtesy of  Travel Nevada  site

photograph courtesy of Travel Nevada site


Celebrate Father’s Day Weekend with the entire family and experience American Indian heritage, history and pride at the Stewart Father’s Day Powwow!  The former Stewart Indian School will come alive with over 200 dancers, over 25 arts and crafts vendors, Indian Tacos, and Admission is FREE!  The Stewart Father’s Day Powwow benefits the establishment of the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center.



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6:00 PM18:00

Nes Lerpa exhibition opening

 photograph by Frances Melhop

photograph by Frances Melhop

Thanks to a collaboration between Danish artist Nes Lerpa, West Elm, and Sierra Arts Foundation, there is a new abstract show installed at the Historic Reno Post Office building.

Reception from 6-8pm Thursday 15th June, 2017

Artist talk 6-8 pm Thursday 22 June, 2017

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to Jun 24

Reno Rodeo

 photograph by Frances Melhop

photograph by Frances Melhop

An experience in Nevada not to miss!


Welcome Rodeo Fans to the "Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West!"

June 18 - 27, 2014

The "Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West," the Reno Rodeo is a 10-day event. The Reno Rodeo is a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) sanctioned sporting event. Reno Rodeo is a non-profit organization made up over 500 volunteers.

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