Have you ever attended “Burning Man,” the wildly original annual art event that attracts more than 50,000 people to a remote area of northern Nevada on the Black Rock Desert?
Described as an “experiment in community, radical self-expression and radical self-reliance,” it’s really out there, both artistically and geographically.
Many friends make the annual trek to this destination. After getting to Reno, it requires a three car ride through ascetically beautiful desert and small but not forgotten towns.
Now, thanks to the wonders of technology, you can get a sense of the place without leaving home.
All you have to do is watch the live stream from “Burning Man,” which gets its name from the ritualized, Saturday night burning of the colossal male timber figure.
Reno-Tahoe is more than a basecamp for outdoor adventure or a hub for casino gaming. The region also boasts a rich history from its Native American roots to its foundation during the frontier days of the western expansion.
Today, ties to the past are reflected in many of the region’s 31 museums, while an active community of enthusiasts continues to position Reno-Tahoe on the cutting edge of art. Here’s a sample of the area’s diverse offerings:
- Nevada Museum of Art
Divided into five focus areas, the permanent collection of the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, consists of over 1,900 works of art organized around the general themes of land and environment. The museum also features traveling exhibitions.
- Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum, Carson City, engages diverse audiences in understanding and celebrating Nevada’s natural and cultural heritage. Exhibits include a replica walk-through mine and ghost town, the Carson City Mint, and Native American displays.
- National Automobile Museum
The National Automobile Museum, Reno, displays approximately 175 cars, many of which came from gaming magnate William F. Harrah’s famous collection. The collection’s stars include the 1907 Thomas Flyer, winner of the 1908 New York to Paris race. Other vehicles appear in rotation on the museum’s “streets” in three galleries.
- Fourth Ward School Museum
Abandoned to the elements, the Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, seemed doomed until it was resurrected in 1986, 50 years after the school closed its doors. Since that time hundreds of thousands of visitors have made their way to the school celebrate Virginia City’s glorious past as a frontier town during the gold and silver boom.
- Wilbur D. May Museum
The Wilbur D. May Museum, Reno, features the accumulated trinkets and treasures from more than 30 trips and safaris the eccentric son of a department store magnate made in the 1920s and 1930s. Since May rarely collected just one of anything, cases are crammed with T’ang Dynasty animals and African masks; hundreds of Oriental miniatures, dozens of pistols and rifles. Gobelin tapestries and Navajo rugs are among objects decorating the walls.
- Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada
The Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada, Carson City, is dedicated to providing education and entertainment to children ages 2 and up and families through exhibits and programs that focus on the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities.
- Nevada State Railroad Museum
The Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City, preserves the railroad heritage of Nevada, including locomotives and cars of the famous Virginia and Truckee Railroad. Much of the museum equipment was obtained from Hollywood studios, where they were often featured in movies and television.
Museum activities consist of operation of historic railroad equipment, including train rides, handcar rides, lectures, an annual railroad history symposium, changing exhibits, and a variety of special events.
Click here for a complete Reno-Tahoe museum listings, or tell us about your favorite Reno-Tahoe museum in the comment section.
In addition to cultural events like the month-long Artown celebration each July, the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and Broadway comes to Reno, Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe is also home to an orchestra that brings a flavor of metropolitan life to the eastern Sierra.
Now the Reno Chamber Orchestra has achieved another distinction as a genre powerhouse, selected to present the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner’s ‘Chasing Light…’
The performances will take place at the University of Nevada’s Nightingale Concert Hall on Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. ‘Chasing Light…’ was commissioned and will be performed by 58 orchestras in all 50 states through Ford Made in America, a partnership program of the League of American Orchestras, Meet the Composer, and the participating orchestras.
“We are honored to be the lead orchestra in the largest commissioning consortium in the history of American orchestras,” said Scott Faulkner, the orchestra’s executive director. “It is a rare honor for the RCO and a wonderful opportunity for our community to experience the birth of a piece of music by one of the world’s great composers.”
If you are able to make it to this opening performance of the orchestra’s 2008-2009 season, it is well worth the effort.
- Also check out Art Slaves
- Also check out West Street Market
Recently I was able to visit the Artists Reception for Art Slaves 2008, a display of “anything goes” artwork, including; paintings, sculptures, mixed medium, fashion, photography and performance art.
The art and conversation was thought provoking, and meeting the artists was a blessing. I always enjoy talking to the artists to see what they were thinking when the created the pieces, and then comparing that to how I see them.
If you are interested in art, or want to see what several local artists have presented, please visit the Montage Gallery at 155 West Second Street in Reno, Nevada.