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City of Reno celebrates the arts and Burning Man during month of August

Public invited to upcoming Space Whale and Art Fest events

Post Date:08/15/2017 1:30 PM
Burning Man revelers will begin traveling through the Reno area in the coming weeks in preparation for the main event, which begins August 27, 2017 in the Black Rock Desert. The City of Reno recognizes the regional importance of Burning Man, and is providing residents a chance to get involved, even if they aren’t attending the famous annual week-long event on the playa.

Space Whale dedication

The City of Reno will officially dedicate Space Whale, a large illuminated stained glass and steel art sculpture, into its temporary public art collection on Friday, August 18, 2017 at 8:15 p.m. The ceremony is open to the public and will be held on City Plaza, where the sculpture will shine brightly until after Burning Man 2018.

“I’m confident residents and tourists will flock downtown to see this incredible structure, as we continue to build momentum for our great arts and culture destination,” said Reno City Councilmember Naomi Duerr, who is the Council Liaison to the Arts & Culture Commission. “Of note, Space Whale is being paid for via a special fund dedicated in part to the arts, not the general fund.”

Space Whale is a life-sized sculpture of a humpback whale mother and calf designed to look as though they're floating supported by the baby and one large fin. City of Reno crews worked with artist Matt Schultz this month to install the 50-foot sculpture. The sculpture debuted at Burning Man in summer 2016.

Schultz paired with internationally known graphics illustrator Android Jones to create the nearly 2,000 stained glass panels that wrap across the bodies of the whales.

Reno Art Fest on the River

Reno Art Fest on the River will take place on the weekend of August 19-20, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the City Plaza. The event will include fine art, live music, food trucks and a beer garden.

In addition to being able to buy original artwork from more than 60 local and regional artists, attendees can vote for their favorite piece of art to be purchased by the City of Reno for its Public Art Collection.

Art gallery openings and receptions

On Tuesday, August 22, 2017 from 5 to 7 p.m., media and the public are invited to the free reception for Desert Dreams in Metro Gallery at Reno City Hall. This will be Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve’s first official “Mayor's Gallery.” She will attend the reception as a tribute to Burning Man, and Reno City Councilmember David Bobzien will be the DJ for the event.

Desert Dreams, works by world-renowned photographer Peter Ruprecht, will be open August 21 to October 6, 2017. Artists Bruce Clark and Lauren Cardenas will also open exhibits at McKinley Arts & Culture Center on August 21. All gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City of Reno hires Public Art Program Coordinator

Megan Berner has joined the City of Reno’s Arts, Culture and Events department as the Public Art Program Coordinator to help further the City’s public art goals and maintain its public art collection. Berner comes with a wealth of experience in the public art realm, including a tenure as Chair of the Reno Arts & Culture Commission, the official adviser to the City Council on arts and culture and Chair of the Public Art Committee. She is also an adjunct faculty photography instructor at Truckee Meadows Community College and a practicing visual artist.

“Megan is a great addition to the arts, culture and events team,” Councilmember Duerr added. “She is very interested in developing a comprehensive public art program along with community input, which aligns very closely with the Reno City Council’s mission. She has been a very dedicated volunteer for the City over the last five years and will make a wonderful City employee.”

For more arts and culture information, visit and join the conversation using the hashtag #BigArtsLittleCity.
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