The Arts

Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction

Nevada's varied settings and history have provided fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres with two very different urban settings, snowy mountains, empty deserts, isolated towns, mining history, near-mythic characters, and, of course, gambling and prostitution.

Elwood Decker

Elwood Decker (1903-1992) arrived at Fort Churchill sixty-six years after it had been abandoned and all of its salvageable materials removed. Fort Churchill was a hastily constructed military post near the banks of the Carson River in western Nevada (then western Utah Territory), intended to protect local citizens and emigrants traveling west following the Pyramid Lake War of 1860.

Elko Basque Club

The Basque people have a long and unique history in the American West, and many of their traditions are maintained today by Basque clubs throughout the region. One of the oldest and most active is the Elko Basque Club. Founded in 1959, it has hosted the National Basque Festival since 1964.

Elizabeth Brady

Elizabeth Brady was a connecting link between the past and the future for the Shoshone people of Nevada. Raised in a very traditional family in Battle Mountain and Beowawe and speaking only Shoshone until she went to school, Brady absorbed stories, songs, and skills in beadwork and willow basketry that she carried all her life. Brady was particularly known for her cradleboards, which were made with a bent dogwood frame, rows of fine willow sticks held together with more split willows, and a cover of brain-tanned buckskin.

Edwin Deakin

Edwin Deakin (1838-1923) was born in Sheffield, England, and immigrated to America in 1856. He lived in Chicago where, for a time, he earned his living painting commissioned portraits of Civil War heroes. In 1870, he moved west to San Francisco and established his home and studio. Deakin's paintings, in the Romantic landscape tradition, created iconic images of the Sierra Nevada, especially the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Edward W. Yates

After accepting an offer to join the faculty of the Department of Art at the University of Nevada (UNR) in 1952, Edward W. Yates left his native Oklahoma and, for the next seventeen years, offered instruction in a variety of disciplines including sculpture, jewelry, and art history.

Eddie Brooks

Saddlemaker Eddie Brooks is a transplanted Texan whose roots have grown deep into the buckaroo country around Elko. Brooks started working with leather as a boy, apprenticed in the saddle making trade, and was working in a Texas shop in 1964 when he was hired to run the saddle shop at Capriola's in Elko. He says that Nevada buckaroos "went everywhere horseback," so they really needed and appreciated well-made saddles. Working with them helped him develop his skills to a high art.

Desert Writing

Much of the literature that has emerged from Nevada has portrayed mountain and desert landscapes, and the human relationship with aridity, in vivid and insightful ways.

Dennis Oppenheim

Engagement, a sculpture by Dennis Oppenheim (b. 1938), marks the street-side entrance to the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Comprised of two enormous steel rings topped by houses-as-jewels, it is apparently a monument to the institution of marriage. It also ties directly to Reno's history of quick marriage and easy divorce.

Cowboy Poetry

Cowboy poetry is poetry by or about cowboys. Its direct origins are from the great cattle drives after the Civil War that brought beef from the isolated West to the populated cities of the North and East. This poetry blossomed as an insider's art form at the height of the cowboy in popular culture, the first half of the twentieth century. In 1985, folklorists from the West first staged a forum for cowboy poetry in Elko, Nevada.


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