Most people don’t think of Reno as a place to find fine art. The fact is that chances to see and buy art abound in galleries, an art museum and at an international art auction.
Artists Lofts Area
The conversion in 2000 of the historic Riverside Hotel into the Riverside Artists Lofts, which provide living and studio space for artists, was one of the first signs that Reno had started to take art seriously. Sierra Art Association offices, an African art gallery called Bantu Spirit, Dreamer’s Coffee House and a jazz club share the building’s first floor. The plaza outside provides the setting for art shows throughout the year. Local artists’ works also frequently are displayed in coffee houses along First Street, area libraries and local banks.
Truckee River Gallery (151 North Sierra Street), is a small gallery of about 250 square feet which fronts on the river near the Sierra Street Bridge. Though tiny by most gallery standards, Truckee River Gallery mounts changing exhibits each month, usually with artist receptions. A good place to buy Nevada art, the gallery features artists including Mike Callahan, who specializes in Nevada landscapes and Eric Holland, who has painted a series of Reno buildings within one mile of the Riverside Artists Lofts. Another good place to find works is the Reno Artists Cooperative (627 Mill Street)
Power’s FrameWorks (Franktown Corners) showcases the work of one of the state’s foremost artists, Roy Powers, who is known for his paintings of well-known Nevada landmarks. In addition to Powers’ original works, signed and numbered prints as well as note cards are for sale.
The stunning Stremmel Gallery at South Virginia Street, which opened in 1969, is owned by internationally known art auctioneer, Peter Stremmel and his wife, Turkey. Although Stremmel’s specialty is Western art, gallery exhibits frequently focus on contemporary art as well. Usually the works of one artist or two artists with complementary styles are displayed in an exhibit.
Guided Art Tours
In 2000, long-time arts patron Toni Lowden founded Artouring, whose tours take participants into the studios of artists and artisans in the Reno area, Virginia City and at Lake Tahoe. Conducted by weaver/ Lowden, the tours give visitors a chance to watch ceramicists, printmakers, wood-carvers, painters and other artists at work and to learn about the various processes involved. Tour participants can purchase works directly from the artists at studio prices (groups of three or more; www.artouring.com).
Nevada Museum of Art
Not only is this a stunning museum, with frequent first-rate traveling exhibits, its gift shop is a great place to find high quality prints of major paintings. All of the other items in the shop, such as calendars, puzzles, books and jewelry are art-themed as well. The store is open during museum hours Tuesday through Sunday.
World-Class Western Art Auction
The largest annual Western Art auction held outside of New York City, has taken place in Reno each year since 2004 The Coeur d’Alene auction, which attracts about 1,000 collectors and gallery owners from all over the United States and Europe, is held during the month-long Artown celebration in July. In 2008, the auction’s highest ever sales reached almost $37 million. Peter Stremmel is auctioneer for the event.