Churchill County has long supported local artists and arts in general through several initiatives and programs designed to bolster the image of arts and culture in the community.
Community art at the Pennington Life Center
The William N. Pennington Life Center hosted a reveal event this spring of its new community art project.
Funded through a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, this large format painted canvas depicts life in the Lahontan Valley.
Led by professional artist Patricia Sammons, community members donated their time to learn various painting techniques taught by Sammons and painted the various panels representing different aspects of our local rural lifestyle which hang as a permanent installation in the multi-purpose room at the Life Center.
The Churchill County Museum initiated a program to see the blank wall on the south side of its building at 1050 S. Maine Street transformed with murals representing different aspects of rural life in this community. The six, new “Our Community, Our Stories” murals depict the area’s agriculture history, rodeo lifestyle, Navy presence, special events, nature trails and its indigenous peoples.
Museum Curator Marilyn Moore is the project lead and has lined up volunteer artists Kat Hull, Kenyen Hicks and Cody Deegan to design the murals in conjunction with experts on each of the themes. Each artist had access to the museum’s photo archives to help guide their creativity.
Four murals are completed: NAS Fallon, indigenous people, special events (the City of Fallon Christmas Tree lighting) and the rodeo. The nature trails mural is nearing completion while the final agriculture mural design is complete. Moore is hopeful the entire project can be completed by autumn, weather permitting.
Those who want to volunteer to paint may contact Moore at the museum: (775)423-3667. Those who volunteer will be able to place their handprint under the mural on which they worked.
This effort is supported by a Nevada Humanities matching grant. Special thanks to local organizations like Kent’s Lumber Supply, Louie’s Home Center and the Churchill Community Coalition for their donations of paint and supplies.
Library exhibits local art
The Churchill County Library reaches out to various artisan groups and artists every few months to change the art on its walls. It has partnered with Churchill County School District, the Flying Artists, Creative Aging Artists and individual artists, among others, for a revolving display of various art techniques.
For the past two years, the library partnered with the Churchill County High School ceramic arts class and the Fallon Chamber of Commerce to host the Empty Bowls event in the spring. Those who made a non-perishable food donation to the Chamber’s Karma Box project or a cash donation to the Churchill Library Association received a bowl of soup, a slice of bread and kept the hand-made bowl.
Empty Bowls is a movement by artists to raise awareness for hunger in the community. The event is sponsored by the Churchill County High School Ceramics Class students who made and donated the bowls, the Fallon Chamber of Commerce Karma Box and the Churchill Library Association.
Celebrate Us art on walls of County Administration Building
The 'Celebrate Us' art project allows local artists of all ages and skill levels to display their works on the walls of the Churchill County Administration Building at 155 N. Taylor Street in Fallon.
Exhibits rotate several times a year. Current featured artists include Larry Neel, Marie Nygren, Edith Isidoro-Mills, Valla Torvik, Dennis Doyle, Caroline Kwas, Kristen Kabrin and Tatiana Sozvirskaya working in photography, charcoal and mixed media.
Community Support for Churchill Arts Council
Churchill County Commissioners regularly support the offerings from the Churchill Arts Council with an annual donation from its community support fund. In fiscal year 2022-23, the $8,000 donation will support programming and educational endeavors at the Oats Park Art Center.
Photo: Volunteers paint the indigenous people mural on the south wall of the Churchill County Museum.