The Arts

Michael Heizer

Michael Heizer's roots in Nevada go deep, back to his grandfather Ott F. Heizer, a mining engineer in Lovelock in the 1880s. Raised elsewhere, he would have to return to Nevada to find his artistic voice. 

McKinley Arts and Culture Center

The McKinley Arts & Culture Center is housed in the former McKinley Park School and is owned and operated by the City of Reno and its Arts & Culture Commission. The school was built in 1909 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was renovated and opened as an arts center in 1999.

Mary McNair Mathews

Mary McNair Mathews' memoir, Ten Years in Nevada or Life on the Pacific Coast, established her as an early chronicler of life in Virginia City, Nevada. Mathews was born in western New York in 1834 and attended Oberlin College in Ohio.

Mary Hunter Austin

Mary Hunter Austin set many of her early stories and novels in the desert and small towns along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains where she lived from 1891 to 1906. From the Great Basin years came Austin's best-known work, The Land of Little Rain (1903), fourteen sketches describing the land and its inhabitants.

Mary Chadwell

Mary Chadwell's distinctive miniature paintings have been shown in countless exhibits in Nevada and across the United States, including the Smithsonian Institution. Her skills as a miniaturist, including resilient eyesight, dexterity, and patience, are reflected in still lifes including locales ranging from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake to Lamoille Canyon and in studies of Nevada characters.

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in 1835 in Florida, Missouri, and raised there in the eastern part of the state. His schooling was minimal; he was essentially self-taught. As a teenager, he worked for local newspapers, and then for printing shops in Cincinnati and other eastern cities. In 1857, now twenty-one, Sam persuaded Horace Bixby, a Mississippi River steamboat pilot, to accept him as an apprentice. Sam sailed up and down the Mississippi first as an apprentice, then as a full-fledged pilot until the advent of the Civil War, when hostilities closed the river to civilian traffic.

Lyle Ball

Lyle Ball (1909-1992) was one of the most prolific painters in the history of the visual arts in Nevada. Following his retirement in 1968 as owner of the Ball Sign Company in Reno, Ball pursued a second career painting architectural landmarks throughout northern Nevada. He was often referred to as an "artist-historian." 

During the thirty-five years he owned Ball Sign Company, Ball usually laid out the designs for his clients' signs in watercolor, a medium that he would explore more freely in his retirement years. 

Louis Siegriest

Louis Bassi Siegriest (1899-1989) was a major California artist who lived and painted in Virginia City, Nevada, during the 1940s. A solo exhibition of his drawings and paintings of historical buildings on the Comstock was featured at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1983.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas: Department of Art

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas first opened its doors in 1965 as Nevada Southern University, a branch of the University of Nevada, Reno. The Department of Art began its mission by offering service courses for other disciplines with its four faculty members Rita Deanin Abbey, Eric Gronberg, Peter Myer, and Dick Wist. The program, along with the Department of Music, Speech and Theater, was housed in Archie Grant Hall, one of the first buildings on campus, constructed in 1959.

University of Nevada Reno: Department of Art

The first art instructor at the University of Nevada in Reno was Katherine Lewers (1868–1945), who began teaching freehand drawing in 1905. For the most part, the program served the specialized needs of teaching, engineering, and home economics majors until 1939 when Lewers retired. Her successor was Helen Joslin, a traditional painter whose methods of instruction seemed to overlook the major trends in modern art outside Nevada.


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