Big art in “Biggest Little City” of Reno

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Public Art Murals abound in Midtown and Downtown Reno. (VisitRenoTahoe)

By Julianne G. Crane

Reno is not just for adult gaming and its close proximity to year-round outdoor adventures. “Art installations, sculptures and large-scale murals punctuate Reno’s urban landscape.”

Big art in Biggest Little City

Strolling through the streets of Midtown Reno, visitors see oversized art around almost every corner. It seems the Biggest Little City in the World oversees more than 185 pieces of big art.

Reno’s public art collection includes “many different genres and styles, from representational to abstract; and a variety of materials, from bronze to wood, ceramic to steel.” This diverse collection is of “the highest possible quality in terms of craft.”

Space Whale (VisitRenoTahoe.com)

The downtown City Plaza is home to two former Burning Man pieces including Space Whale, a 50-foot-tall installation. “The life-sized stained glass and steel sculpture is of a humpback whale mother and calf.” It is the creation of Matt Schultz, a Reno local, and Android Jones of Colorado.

Reno loves its murals. It boasts of more than 100 larger-than-life works painted by local, national and international artists. In fact, back in 2017, Art Spot Reno invited “30 dynamic artists” to participate in the Reno Mural Expo. “We watched these exceptional artists transform 31 vacant walls and alleys into an outdoor urban art gallery,” said an Art Spot Reno rep.

Ways to see the art

City of Reno Public Art Map – Simply click on the points on the map to locate and learn about specific artworks. Visitors can also explore the City’s Public Art Collection Archive.

Walkers see dozens of murals in Midtown Reno. (VisitRenoTahoe.com)

Self-guided – “Take a leisurely walk or hop on two wheels to explore Midtown or downtown to find locally-made pieces of artwork, art installations straight from Black Rock City or other unique findings,” encourages the folks at VisitRenoTahoe.com.

Docent lead tours – Join a docent-guided tour for insights behind the murals, statues and other public art that make the Biggest Little City colorful and unique. There is a Midtown Mural Tour on the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. starting at Bibo Coffee Company. Cost is $10 per person. If your traveling group is four or more, schedule your own Art Spot Reno tour – contact artspotreno@gmail.com.

If you go

Learn more about the region’s year-round art and culture by clicking here. For example, during July there is a month-long celebration with more than 500 events taking place throughout the area including music, dance, theater, film and visual arts.

For more information:
City of Reno
Public Art Program
1 E. First St., Reno, NV 89505
(775) 334-INFO (4636)

Reno’s Big Arts Little City Arts and Culture Commission
Phone: (775) 326-6333
Visit Reno Tahoe Information
URL: VisitRenoTahoe.com
Link for Public Art, click here.
To download a Visitor’s Guide, click here.

RV parks

There are plenty of Reno RV parks to choose from, according to local experts, “Whether you want to be close to the casino action or catch a breeze off the Truckee River.” Check out Lake Tahoe and Reno RV parks.

Writer’s Note: Although more and more RVers are being vaccinated, there is still ample reason to be cautious during the upcoming summer travel season. RV Short Stops continues to highlight places that can be safely experienced from the road or in an outdoor public space. If you know of cities with outstanding public art collections or other unique places, please let us know so we can feature them.

Julianne G. Crane
Read more of Julianne’s RV Short Stops posts here.
Read more about the RV Lifestyle by clicking on RVWheelLife.com

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Peter Dube
19 days ago

Great overview of our local arts scene. We are home to world renowned Nevada Museum of Art. Reno comes alive each July for Artown, a celebration of arts and culture. Walk our many historic districts, visit the Nevada Historical Society, or attend a multitude of special events including Hot August Nights!