The Nevada Museum of Art is hosting its triennial art conference in Reno to deepen conversations about how humans interact with the natural and built world. This year, the Art + Environment subscription series—Land Art: Past, Present, Futures—is expanding from a weekend event to a two-month program and will feature more than 10 virtual discussions, five gallery exhibitions, a live artist demonstration in Las Vegas, and more.
Although the Art + Environment Season is one of many multi-day art events in Reno, such as the Reno Art Fest and the Sierra Arts Foundation’s Dia de Los Muertos: Group Exhibition, it is truly one of a kind. Organized under the museum’s research and curatorial department, the Center for Art + Environment plays a pivotal role in the land art movement. It houses a vast archive of collections from more than 1,000 internationally known artists and organizations.
To learn more about the significance of this season’s art conference in Reno, I reached out to Ann M. Wolfe, the museum’s Andrea and John C. Deane Family Senior Curator and Deputy Director. She spoke about the history of land art in the American West and how the museum facilitates thoughtful viewership. I also asked Dana Sullivan Kilroy, a spokeswoman for the museum, to share some insight about what we can expect to see from the museum this quarter and the next.
The Art + Environment Season Conference: Land Art: Past, Present, Futures opened on Sept. 23 and will run through Nov. 19.
Nevada Museum Of Art Invites You To Join Its Triennial Art Conference In Reno This Fall
What are some characteristics of the Art + Environment Season that have attracted international attention?
Ann says: Since the late 1960s, people have traveled from across the globe to visit the iconic earthworks of the American West. And over the years, the state of Nevada has inspired many historical and contemporary land art interventions due to its vast desert terrain. From the early monumental works of Michael Heizer and Walter De Maria to the recent sculptures of Ugo Rondinone, the art conference in Reno has consistently sparked new scholarship, fresh thinking, and productive partnerships. That’s why when the international world thinks of Nevada, they think of land art.
What are the types of questions visitors should ask themselves while viewing the land art exhibitions?
Ann says: Throughout the exhibition, you will encounter terms and definitions intended to encourage thoughtful reflection. These standardized definitions intend to serve as helpful guideposts along your journey through the galleries. You should ask yourself:
“How does my perspective add to or change these definitions?”
“How do these terms shape and inform my interpretation?”
You should also ask yourself questions that are explicitly related to land art, such as:
“How does the desert act as a blank canvas for artists?”
“What does it mean to leave a mark on the earth?”
“How does a mark for artistic creation differ from those made for industrial and development purposes?”
“What stories have been left untold, and what can new artworks on earth explore further?”
How does the Art + Environment season align with the Museum’s overall vision?
Dana says: The museum’s identity is aligned with the fundamental concepts of land art, partially inspired by the geological formations of the Black Rock Desert, located about 120 miles northeast of Reno. And when the Art + Environment Center was founded in 2008, its mission was to support the practice and study of the interactions between people and the environment. With more than 1,500 archive materials now, the center features artwork from all seven continents and is known for its role in the land art movement.
With the holiday season approaching, what are some unique gifts and souvenirs visitors can find at the gift shop?
Dana says: I find the best and most unique gifts at the museum’s gift shop. There’s a wide selection of artisan products, from beautiful hand-blown glass vases to ornaments to baby blankets. You can also find various items from current exhibitions. If you know someone who is a fan of photography, I highly recommend giving them the Gianfranco Gorgoni: Land Art Photography book.
What are some ways visitors can learn more about the artists and presenters this in art conference in Reno?
Dana says: Visiting the museum’s website is an excellent place to start. You can also subscribe for full access to the live virtual content of the Art + Environment Season Conference or attend an event to learn more to participate in conversations about the artwork and featuring artists of the exhibitions.
What can we expect to see from the museum next quarter?
Dana says: We’re very excited to feature Jean LaMarr of Paiute/Pit River ancestry. Her work addresses issues surrounding cultural stereotypes and representations of women and Native American people. As an involved activist, she is well-known for her assemblages, printmaking, paintings, videos, and installations. You can view the art of Jean LaMarr from Jan. 29 through July 17, 2022.