July in Reno is Arttown, a month of everything-art and regarded as one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in the country by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Dance. Music. Theater. Film. Literature. Art and crafts. … And, one of my favorites: the 24-hour mural festival with seven artists turning blank walls at the Circus Circus Casino into coloful art.
I don’t remember exactly when I fell in love with public art and murals, but gradually, it became something I sought out in the cities I travelled to and a prime criteria when choosing a place to live. Murals are more than a piece of art … they are an act of democracy, inviting viewers in, changing with light and time, becoming part of the community.
Cities and towns around the world have found that public art, sculptures and murals, are important. Muralist Grace McCammond said, “Murals build a sense of community. “They make it welcoming and walkable, and they make you want to go there.” (1)
The seven artists for Reno’s 24-hour Mural Festival arrived on Friday afternoon to blank walls (scaffolding or lifts already in place) and a sketch. For most of them, the first part of their process was to create a grid and transfer the sketch. Ivan Roque, a Cuban-American artist from Miami, however began painting his wall solid red.
Here’s a series from Melissa Ghiglieri:
David Puck, originally from England and currently based in California, mixes paint and shows us his sketch of his sister Claire.
Eric Weatherford's ... also known as ODDWALL painting ... sketch:
Jiminai (pronounced Gemini) from Austin after a couple of hours:
Kate O'Hara from Reno just getting started:
Rafael Blanco, originally from Spain, now living in Chicago:
And a view of the project as it starts to take shape: