The Arts

Western Folklife Center

In 1980, the Utah Folklife Center, under the direction of Utah State Folk Arts Coordinator Hal Cannon, expanded its focus beyond the Beehive State's borders and became the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada. Cannon remains the Founding Director. The Western Folklife Center's mission is to study, preserve, and perpetuate the rural culture of the West.

Avant-garde in Nevada

Although there may be some truth in the notion that avant-garde art and literature have always been slow to reach Nevada and the Great Basin, there have been, over the years, some noteworthy undertakings. And, like the vanguard works of last century's Modernism, they usually combine verbal and visual expressions.

Wilber Stevens

The White River Narrows Archeological District, approximately 90 miles south of Ely, Nevada, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The area is especially scenic because of its rhyolite cliffs on which much of the Archaeological District's rock art is situated.

Will Bruder

The architect for the 2003 Nevada Museum of Art building in Reno is Phoenix-based Will Bruder.

Will James

Artist and author Will James is beloved by readers for his life-like drawings and illustrated stories of horses in the American West and the cowboys who work them. His books are comprised of story and essay collections, novels, an autobiography, and children's books. All depict aspects of the cowboy life, including detailed descriptions of the people, places, animals, equipment, and work involved in cattle operations.


Artown is an annual monthlong festival of the arts held in Reno every July. The celebration includes hundreds of performances of music, dance, and theater, visual arts exhibitions, films, and activities for children and families. The Artown organization, a nonprofit entity, books most of the larger national touring acts, but over 90 percent of the presenters are local organizations using local artists.

Will James: The Artist

Will James lived like a character in one of his own novels. The Canadian-born cowboy, writer, and artist came to Nevada in 1914. Soon after, he got caught in a rustling scheme and spent time in prison; he used the solitude of jail to sharpen his skills at drawing scenes depicting life on the ranch.

Arthur V. Buel - Biography of a Nevada Caricaturist

Arthur V. Buel (1877-1952) has been described as Nevada's most prolific editorial cartoonist. His long newspaper career started in the mining towns of the Yukon Territory and took him to Tonopah, Nevada, where he honed his distinctive approach to the art of caricature. In 1922, Buel moved to California where he spent the next 24 years working for the McClatchy-owned Sacramento Bee and Fresno Bee.

Artemus Ward

Artemus Ward, often called the first standup comic, played a pivotal role in the history of American literature during an 1863 Christmas visit to the Nevada territory when he influenced the career of Mark Twain. Born Charles Farrar Brown in 1834 in Maine, the future Artemus Ward lost his father when young and became an apprentice printer at age thirteen. Eventually, Brown graduated to reporter and comic columnist during a career that took him to Ohio.

Art Deco Style Architecture in Nevada

Art Deco was a style that influenced everything in the visual and decorative arts. The 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris made the Art Deco movement international. The style established a thoroughly modern look that would, in its permutations, affect the rest of the twentieth century and even the next century.


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