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Artists and Public Lands: Artist-in_Residence in the Black Rock Desert

The McKinley Arts & Culture Center is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.  The building is closed on all federal holidays.

Artists and Public Lands: 
Artist-in-Residence in the Black Rock Desert
Mary Kenny and Jack Hulbert

McKinley Arts & Culture Center
Gallery East
October 28 – December 6, 2019
Reception: November 7, 5:00 – 7:00 PM

We are pleased to announce the Reno reception for the 2019 Artist-in-Residence program brought to you by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in partnership with Friends of Black Rock High Rock (FBRHR).

Artists Mary Kenny and Jack Hulbert are this year’s Artists-in-Residence at the FBRHR.  Kenny works with digital prints and screenprinted collages.  The pictures she uses deteriorate in quality when screenprinted.  The likenesses become hyper-saturated or devoid of color, details disappear within the ink, and a dream-like barrier comes between the viewer and the image.  The collages have a feeling of compiled newspaper clippings and old photographs.  The piecemeal images create an escapist fantasy of a frontier place where humans and nature meet.

Jack Hulbert’s photographs tell the story of the community rooted at the edge of vast, unsettled land.  The individuals in the images and the small pieces of their lives are set against an unforgiving landscape – outposts of humanity worn down by the desert.  But Hulbert also shows the lingering effects that the people have made upon the land – monuments and scars left by travelers and locals.

Founded in 1999, Friends of Black Rock High Rock provides education and resources for people using the land within the Black Rock High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trail National Conservation Area. Their membership includes environmental scientists, kite-boarding enthusiasts, campers, star-gazers, conservationists, historians and visitors from all over the world. 

The Artist-in-Residence program promotes awareness through art of the exceptional places protected within the BLM’s National Conservation Lands. “Each year we receive amazing applications from artists with diverse perspectives expressed in a variety of media,” says Kathy Ataman, AiR Project Lead for the BLM. “It is always exciting to see how the selected artists interpret the dramatic landscapes of the Black Rock National Conservation Area.”

Further information, guidelines and applications can be found at their website or contact Stacey Wittek at You may also contact Kathy Ataman, BLM AiR Project Lead, at or 775-623-1500.

An image of two tvs showing a desert landscape and the stars.  An image of an illegible road sign.