Reno's Museum of Art

Current exhibits at the Nevada Museum of Art explore the landscapes we inhabit. 

Upper Truckee Gambol, painting by Phyllis Shafer, on display at Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nev., image

Phyllis Shafer painted Upper Truckee Gambol (detail shown here) in 2011.

Reno hasn't always been a magnet for artists. But spinoffs from a festival held each year on a dry lakebed north of town—you’ve heard of Burning Man?—are changing the scene. Farm-to-table cafés, natty pubs, and offbeat shops have energized the MidTown District, home to the thriving Nevada Museum of Art.

Several of its current shows explore the interplay of people and the places they inhabit. “We’re focusing on natural, built, and virtual environments,” says William Fox, director of the museum’s Center for Art + Environment.

Patricia Chidlaw’s paintings evoke the sense of loss and limbo that hangs over forgotten junkyards, parking lots, and theater marquees of the West. Multimedia artist Lauren Bon makes spooky pinhole-camera panoramas of eastern California’s dry Owens Lake. And Phyllis Shafer displays a rare vision in weirdly torqued Sierran landscapes.

The focus is not strictly regional. “We have materials from more than 500 artists working on all seven continents,” Fox says. These include, appropriately, the Burning Man archives. (775) 329-3333, nevadaart.org.

Photography courtesy of Phyllis Shafer. Oil on canvas, 24 X 30 inches. Private collection

This article was first published in January 2014. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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