Monday, February 19, 2018

Hans Meyer-Kassel: Artist of Nevada


The art exhibition Hans Meyer-Kassel: Artist of Nevada will be on view at the Nevada Museum of Art (NMA) in Reno from February 24 through September 2, 2018.  Over seventy paintings, drawings and artifacts from private and institutional collections will be presented. This is going to be the first comprehensive survey of the late-Imressionist artist who portrayed everything from dignities to ships and glaciers. Visitors will be inspired by Meyer-Kassel's love for northern Nevada expressed on canvases capturing scenes and landscapes of Reno-Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, Walker Lake and the Ruby Mountains. The show also includes some of his artwork from Germany, Norway and New York.

Panel partition of a Meyer-Kassel painting at NMA entrance

About Hans Meyer-Kassel

Born as Hans Meyer in Kassel, Germany, on March 8, 1872, Meyer immigrated to the United States in the early 1920s and moved to Nevada in the mid-1930s. Here, he died in northern Nevada's Genoa on August 30, 1952. 

Hans Meyer began his career as a painter of portraits, landscapes and still-lifes in Kassel and Munich. Meyer's encounter with prominent European dignitaries, who he painted, and his growing artistic reputation caused his native Hessian city of Kassel to grant him the honor of  appending the city's name to his own. Such, Meyer's common name—“Hans” and “Meyer” belong to the most frequent first and last names, respectively, in Germany—became a distinctive moniker: Hans Meyer-Kassel. The writing Meyer-Cassel, using an older spelling of the city name (see “Fascinated by the word Kassel”), can also be found. Since the 1950s Kassel is known for the Documenta, a contemporary art event taking place every five years and populating the cityscape with sculptures such as Frame Construction and Man Walking to the Sky.

Between his times in Germany and Nevada, Hans Meyer-Kassel enjoyed sceneries and success on both sites of the Atlantic Ocean. My favorite episode in Meyer-Kassel's life is his artist-style exploration of Iceland and Norway (including the Lofoten Islands and remote Spitzbergen), where he painted harbor towns, floating ice and glaciers. In 1931, Meyer-Kassel had a one-person exhibition of his artwork at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. During the last 16 years of his life, his terrain for impressionistic views was the American West, including the landscape of northern Nevada between the Ruby Mountains and the Carson Range.

Monument Dedication in Genoa

A recent newsletter of the Nevada Museum of art announces a special event on Saturday, May 19, at 1 pm, during which a permanent memorial to Hans Meyer-Kassel, and his beloved wife Maria, on the grounds of the Genoa Courthouse Museum in downtown Genoa is planned.

Display of books at museum bookstore

Reference and more to explore

[1] Hans Meyer-Kassel: Artist of Nevada. Link: https://www.nevadaart.org/exhibition/hans-meyer-kassel-a-nevada-artist/.
[2] Jack Bacon (Editor/Publisher): Hans Meyer-Kassel: Artist of Nevada. Jack Bacon & Company with the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada 2018.
[3] Hans Meyer-Kassel. Online Nevada Encyclopedia. Link: http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/hans-meyer-kassel.
[4] Hans Meyer-Kassel. Wikipedia (in German). Link: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Meyer-Kassel.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sue in Reno

 
Sue exhibit in Reno's Discovery Museum


Sue is in town—in Midtown, inside the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum. It will stay until January 15, 2018 [1]. I am writing it, since we do not know, if Sue, a Tyrannosaurus rex, was a she or a he. Until now—according to information given on an exhibition panel—scientists haven't found a reliable way to tell males from females:

Sue is technically an “it.”

The fossils that became Sue were discovered by American paleontologist Sue Hendrickson (and her dog Gypsy) in summer 1990 in South Dakota—while waiting for a flat tire to be fixed. She found bones at a cliff base and, looking up, saw three dinosaur backbones protruding from a cliff wall [2]. A long dispute about the fossil ownership followed, but eventually The Field Museum of Chicago bought Sue (the fossils) for nearly $8.4 million. 

The life-sized skeleton is a cast of Sue's real skeleton. You can walk around it in the museum exhibit and will also find digital and hands-on interactive devices to explore Sue's anatomy and speculated way of living.

Sue drawn at the museum wall with sponsor names in each bone


References and more to explore:
[1] The Discovery: A T. rex Named Sue [nvdm.org/exhibitions-and-events/a-t-rex-named-sue/].
[2]  Sue Hendrickson: Biography [www.sue-hendrickson.info/biography.asp].


Looking for extinct animals
Find more on my “Extinct animals” board. 


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Nevada Day Parade 2017


The Carson High School Blue Thunder Marching Band performing at Nevada Day Parade
The Carson High School Blue Thunder Marching Band never missed a beat

Carson City Arts & Culture Coalition
This year's Nevada Day Parade through Carson City's Carson Street took place on Saturday, October 28th. Nevada Day itself was Friday, October 27th. Since 2000, this holiday is observed on the last Friday in October, granting Nevadans a three-day weekend.

Originally, Nevada Day—also known as Admission Day—was celebrated on the last day of October, commemorating the admission of the state of Nevada into the union on October 31, 1864.

The march of  bands, groups, celebrities, athletes and others through Nevada's capital always advocates a theme. This year the parade was dedicated to the state's Arts and Entertainment. Here are a few random parade snapshots.

The Nutcracker Ballet

Muscle Powered
Muscle Powered: Citizen for a Bikeable and Walkable Carson City

Nevada Rainbow Girls

Marching band of Eagle Valley Middle School



Friday, July 7, 2017

Nesting in Reno's riverwalk sculpture garden

Nesting” sculpture by Jeff Schomberg and Laura Kimpton

Metal-gear bird
Nesting” is one of six pieces of the current collection of sculptures displayed in the Bicentennial Park at the Truckee river. “Nesting” was created by Jeff Schomberg and his wife Laura Kimpton. The artist couple is best known for their word sculptures, such as “BELIEVE” at the waterfront of downtown's Art Plaza. While “BELIEVE” comes with a silhouette of cut-out birds, “Nesting” features metal-gear birds on the tip of bending beams supporting a metal nest.

Calling the phone number provided at the sculpture pedestal, 775-334-3330 ext 5, you will learn that the idea behind the sculpture is “to create the experience of life in the world.”

The birds do not fly away. The current exhibit—curated by First Reno Rotary—is rotating and the bird-tree sculpture will make place for the next inspiring design. Therefore, the gear birds are soon going to nest somewhere else.

References and more  to explore

[1]  VIDEO: Bicentennial Sculpture Park Opening and The Playa Art Park Preview [http://thisisreno.com/2016/11/video-bicentennial-sculpture-park-opening-reno-playa-art-park-preview]
[2] Reno Gazette-Journal: Reno welcomes six-piece sculpture garden to riverwalk  [http://www.rgj.com/story/life/arts/2016/10/27/reno-welcomes-six-piece-sculpture-garden-riverwalk/92851804]

Sunday, July 2, 2017

From the Playa to the Plaza: B·E·L·I·E·V·E

Section of  the cut-out bird silhouette of  the “BELIEVE” sculpture

What you see in the top picture is the upper backside of the letter B in the “BELIEVE” sculpture. This popular, seven-letter sculpture by Jeff Schomberg and Laura Kimpton [BELIEVE In Reno] has found its permanent place in downtown Reno. The letters, two to three times as tall as an erect human being, are standing on City Plaza, aka Art Plaza—with the historic, recently renovated United States Post Office across the Truckee river in the background.

BELIEVEsculpture during the Sculpture Fest in May 2015 (then a few blocks north from City Plaza)
Jeff Schomberg was present with his Burning Man playa bike during the docent-led “Downtown Mural and Burning Man Art Tour” on the opening day of Artown this year. The walking tour started at the “BELIEVE” sculpture, a contribution to the 2013 Burning Man event. Jeff told us that it takes about three to four weeks to fabricate a single letter. The City of Reno paid $10,000 per letter. A signature of the sculpture is the cut-out bird silhouette, which transforms each letter into an art object of its own. While the sun and clouds are moving over Reno, letters are individually changing in appearance. The artists have played with the sculpture in the past by turning selected letters upside down. Welcome to the convertible perceptions of the word believe. Great to have inspiring letters and artists in town. Kids will get some hands-on experience with a word; maybe even before they know how to read.

Kids love both the letters and the birds
BELIEVE it or not, large-scale outdoor sculptures attract more and more visitors to downtown Reno, turning the city into an urban-art hot spot—and not only during the month of Artown.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Who is dancing between the Nevada Museum of Art and the Sundance Bookstore?

Early to Riseby Erik Burke, Reno, Nevada
It is a father sundancing with his daughter. This mural on the backside of the Nevada Museum of Art is named “Early to Rise,”created by Erik Burke in 2016. Erik Burke lives in Reno, Nevada. He creates urban art in Reno and throughout the world—promoting his view that art should be free. You can find a brief description of this mural at artspotreno.com: under Public Art Tours select Downtown Reno Mural & Public Art Tour. On the map, click the blue pin between W. Liberty St. and California Ave. Viola! The “Early to Rise” box pops up. The virtual downtown tour includes other murals by Erik Burke as well.

Participants of the “Downtown Mural and Burning Man Art Tour” at
theEarly to Risemural
I joined the docent-led “Downtown Mural and Burning Man Art Tour” on the opening day of Artown. It was a Saturday and the parking lot in front of the mural was empty. Enough space to dance and to take pictures without parked cars blocking the view. The docent explained that Burke often paints off photos. Obviously, he turned his photo by 90 degrees to fittingly cover the low, long wall. Do we see dancers or dreamers? My guess is both! The father is spiritually sundancing with his young daughter in a yellow-green setting contrasting the silver-black walls of the art museum in the background. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Year of the waterfalls


Meeks Creek Falls
This year the Reno-Tahoe area is awash with waterfalls. You will find waterfalls and streams of cascading water at places you may remember as dry or barely wettened by water. My top discovery this spring was the splashing water of Meeks Creek off the Tahoe Yosemite Trail near its north-end trailhead at Meeks Bay.

A waterfall next to Van Sickle Trail
A waterfall next to Van Sickle Trail
While hiking or mountain biking along the Van Sickle Trail, one passes various smaller falls framed by lush green trees and bushes: scenic waterfalls on one side of the trail and spectacular vistas of Stateline, Lake Tahoe and the Pacific Crest when view-switching to the other side.

All that is left of the Thunder Mountain Trail waterfall bridge
All that is left of the Thunder Mountain Trail waterfall bridge
Impressive cascading falls can also be seen near the Village at Squaw Valley: climb uphill on Thunder Mountain Trail toward Squaw Peak for about one mile and you will be in front of water rushing down from the upper skiing slopes and camps. The trail bridge over the line of waterfalls didn't survive the winter season. In case you want to continue uphill or get onto the Western States Trail, you need to detour via the maintenance roads.

More waterfalls—wild or serene—can be found in the Carson Range east of  Lake Tahoe: Hunter Creek Falls near Reno, Galena Creek's Tamarack Peak Waterfall southwest of  Mount Rose,  Carson City's Lower Kings Canyon and Upper Kings Canyon waterfalls and  Genoa Canyon's waterfall west of Genoa (see Genoa Trail Systems)