Posts from the ‘events’ category

a little love letter to Reno

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Where to begin…this spring has flown by and June is moving in the same manner it seems. The opening for my solo show, A Tender Spark, was a success- more than I ever imagined it would be. It really was a dream to see so many people come out to support me and my art. Before I get into the details of the work, the show, and the opening, I’m very pleased to announce that the show has been extended until Wednesday July 1st 2015 so there is still time to see it all in person if you haven’t already. The Holland Project gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 3-6pm or you can give them a call to make an appointment outside of those hours by contacting Alisha alisha@hollandreno.org

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I admit that this show is/was a really big deal for me both professionally and personally. I’ve never had a solo show this large before and it was truly years in the making of it. I stopped painting and illustrating for about 10 years so if you told me back in 2002 that I would be living in Reno, NV as a working artist with my own solo show- I would never have believed you! Back then my art studio was my kitchen and it was really small….really really really small. To make a very long and complicated story short, my life was kind of a mess back then and because of lack of support and frustration I quit painting. I’ll have to elaborate on all that one day but trust me when I say- this show, this moment, this group of work that I made is a big deal for me.

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This spring was also an unexpected challenge for myself and my family. It absolutely impacted my work in many ways and my heart was just broken on repeat. I listened to Sufjan Steven’s newest album Carrie & Lowell obsessively- maybe because I was dealing with death and loss, it was sort of comforting to paint to it and just lose myself in the work.

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When the show opened on June 11th and so many people came out to see what I painted- I can’t even describe how surreal and amazing that felt. Reno is a pretty great place to be an artist and I felt incredible support from so many people. I’m not saying our art scene is perfect or couldn’t improve in some ways, but I love that in general, most people want to see others thrive here and the community feels genuine. There are so many extraordinary artists here and it’s growing really fast. There is a lot of work being done on several levels to make Reno a vibrant and thriving art city- everyone seems to be “pulling on the same rope” as my friend Tod would say.

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I was overwhelmed by all of it and I had to give a talk which I was more nervous about that than anything else I’ve given a public talk about because this was so much more meaningful and personal to me. Even more intimidating than the time I gave a talk to hundreds of computer programers about graphic design. Here I’ve spent so. many. isolated. hours. painting. struggling. painting. painting. drawing. painting. And suddenly my paintings are on the walls and people are excited to see them in person and talk to me- it’s crazy and awesome. I always feel a little socially awkward after working so long in the studio but I was so overwhelmed and incredibly happy!

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Setting up the show was an amazing experience and I could not have done it all without the incredible Alisha Funkhouser- she made the whole process go smoothly and was so encouraging and supportive right from the beginning. Thanks to Patrick, Denali, and Meghan for the hanging help too- it was a lot of work that went fast with all of you. Thanks to Archer for helping me with some finishing touches and being such a good help to me. The Holland Project is a special place and they are essential to the Reno community; what they do here is so important and that is personal too.

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Many of my paintings are off to lovely new homes with such wonderful people. I can’t thank those of you who purchased work enough- whether it is a print or an original painting, this is what enables me to keep making new work and pay the bills so thank you. I know these words aren’t even really adequate enough to express how grateful I am to you all and how lucky I feel that I can do this.

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Tony Lillios, a friend and a collector of mine, purchased “Is that you?” above. Tony has been supporting my art for some time now and I’m always happy to see what he thinks of my new work.

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Even the mayor came to see my show and she bought the painting, buffalo + cetus for her sister, Amanda Sanchez. She let me know she might stop by and I’m so glad she did; it was very exciting to see her enjoy my work and to talk to her about Reno, art, and many other things.

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So much happened the night of my opening that I never got a photo of just me with one of my paintings so here is one Alisha took of me when I stopped by later.

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Now that things have slowed down a bit- I’ve been reflecting on the show and the work I made and thinking about what I need to make next. I have some paintings that are dying to be painted and I’m pretty much the worst at relaxing so I need to really take some time and force myself to rest before I jump onto my next thing. I’ll be participating in ArtBlast in September and I have another solo show here in Reno in October (it may be my last for a while as I have some other plans in the works) and I’ll be in a group show down in LA that month but for right now I’m just trying to enjoy this feeling. I kind of need to soak it in and maybe process what the heck happened this spring and stay in this state of bliss for a little while.

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Supporting artists comes in so many forms- whether it’s attending a show, buying a painting or a print or some other item that artist created, or sending an encouraging word and simply enjoying their work- all of it helps more than you know. All of it keeps me going and though it can be hard at times to be a working artist- the hustle and constant pushing can be exhausting- it is a very very lucky life. I know how lucky I am. Thank you everyone.

And of course, I couldn’t end this without thanking my spectacular little family- thank you to Will and to Archer. I sure could not do any of this without the both of you, your love, and encouragement. <3

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A Tender Spark: new paintings by Lisa Kurt

Lisa Kurt solo show announcement

I’m really pleased to announce my upcoming solo show, A Tender Spark, at the Holland Project Gallery! The opening reception is June 11th at 6:30pm. I started the work for this show back in 2012 and I’ve longed to do a show at the Holland Project for years. All of the paintings have never been shown before and many are brand new – painted this year.

There is a special preview starting at 5:30pm for those who are part of the Art Patrons Program- it’s similar in nature to an art collector’s preview. There is a little write up on the Art Patrons Program here if you are curious about what it is: http://www.hollandreno.org/about/artpatrons/ And you can find out more how to become an art patron and get in early to be the first ones in to see my new paintings by contacting Alisha by email: alisha@hollandreno.org, or call Alisha or Britt at 775.742.1858.

I’ll have both prints and original paintings for sale at the opening. I have some really nice surprises as part of my show, so you won’t want to miss it- it’s been years in the making!!

artist residency at St. Mary’s Art + Retreat Center

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SMAC photo taken from their FB page

 

Next month…just a few more days away…I’ll be one of the resident artists working out of St. Mary’s art + retreat center. This will be my first residency and I am so excited. I’ve been working away to prepare and pack and next week I should be setting up and making more new work- hopefully hitting the ground running.

If you don’t know about this historical and magical place, it used to be a hospital opened in 1876, that has been since converted into an art and retreat space. It’s located in Virginia City, NV which is an interesting and quirky place to visit and explore. To read more- check out their history page.

I’ll also be part of the SMAC exhibitions opening reception on April 25th 1-4pm. I’ll be showing new work and I’m thrilled to share I’ve got a good chunk of my children’s picture book put together. I’ll be showing some finished paintings from that as well as preliminary sketches, character sketches, storyboard work, and early concepts. You’ll get to see the inside guts of what a picture book is really made of and the work involved- I hope you’ll join us for a fun day. The events at St. Mary’s are always a treat and the other artist’s showing are exceptional- I’m so lucky to be showing with them.

I will be blogging my experiences throughout the residency; I don’t know yet how often, but check here regularly starting next week to see photos, works in progress, and updates.

upcoming classes winter-spring 2015

Lisa Kurt's class at the Nevada Museum of Art

I’ve been plugging along teaching pretty regularly since the start of the new year. Thank you to those who have come out to take a class with me! I’ve really enjoyed meeting so many new people and seeing familiar faces as well.

A number of people have asked me to post my teaching schedule so here it is as it stands right now. I’m sure I’ll be adding more classes and as I do I will post the updates here on my new teaching schedule page. The classes usually run based on attendance so if you really want to take one of my classes- sign up to make sure you don’t miss out! Thank you!

February through June 2015:

[sold out] Animal Illustration (kid’s class) Wednesdays, February 25 – March 18 / 3:30 – 5:30 pm [NMA*]

Creating Image Transfers Tuesday, March 10 / 6 – 9pm sign up here [NMA*]

Children’s Book Illustration March 27 through March 29th 10am- 4pm each day sign up here [SMAC*]

Creating Image Transfers Thursday, May 14 / 6 – 9pm  sign up here [NMA*]

Creating a Personal Sketchbook, June 25 / 5:30 – 8:30pm sign up here [Atelier*]

 

*NMA: Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV

*SMAC: Saint Mary’s Art Center, Virginia City, NV

*Atelier in Truckee, CA

 

Identifying yourself as an artist

This last Saturday, I gave a presentation along with two incredible artists, at the Nevada Museum of Art. The audience was a wonderful group of artists- some just beginning, some looking for new ideas, and others looking to reinvent themselves as working artists. The two artists I presented with were Sarah Stevenson of Redline Design and Frances Melhop a freelance photographer and director at Saint Mary’s Art Center. Casey Sibley of Casey D. Sibley Design, organized and facilitated a fantastic event and I think everyone learned some new things.

I believe the NMA will be holding more of these working artist events in the future. It was such a valuable experience for me and everyone had a really good time. My slides are below to get an idea of what I discussed.

Upcoming Friend or Foe? show

lisa kurt friend or foe? show

Get excited friends!

My last solo show of 2014 is here…
I’ve been painting up a storm in the studio this last month and I’m so excited to share my newest paintings and drawings with all of you. The show will be at the lovely NeverEnder Gallery in Reno, Nevada (119 Thoma St, Reno, Nevada 89501) from November 10th through December 6th.
There is an opening reception this Thursday November 13th from 6-8pm, all ages are welcome and it is free to everyone. This gallery throws a really fun show, there is free food and beverages, along with their adorable shop and the new Mixed Messages Zine shop and gallery inside as well. I’ll be selling both originals and prints so there is something for everyone. I hope you’ll join me!

Doubtful Creatures

Lisa Kurt's show Doubtful Creatures postcard 1

As I mentioned in a previous post, through the month of September 2014 I had my solo show up at the Hub Riverside, Doubtful Creatures. This show was a collection of my newest paintings/illustrations that I had done for the Reno News and Review’s 2014 Best Of Issue. The theme I had created was creatures out of the mythology of the quirky and endearing state of Nevada. There was a lot of great material- it’s been influencing more work outside of the project which is cool.

Lisa Kurt's show Doubtful Creatures postcard 2

The closing reception was on Tuesday September 30th and it was a lot of fun! I nearly missed the reception due to travel delays coming back from Boston but I made it by a hair and though I was sleep deprived and jet lagged- it was a wonderful night. I’m so so happy that so many friends and people new to me came out to support my art- it really meant so much to me. Thank you to Eric Brooks for all the help and thank you to everyone who has shown me support one way or another- all of it matters and makes a difference to me.

I sold nearly every painting though there are still two paintings left (see below) if you are interested, just contact me directly through email: lisamadethis[at]gmail.com

Thank you again to everyone out there who has supported my art in this last year or so- I am so so grateful!

Lisa Kurt painting of Cornish fairies

Cornish Fairies

Lisa Kurt's painting of Stone Mother

Stone Mother

 

Reno News and Review Best Of Issue

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Many people know that I had been working on a secret illustration project through June and July, though I couldn’t really share what it was I was working on. Well now I can because it hits news stands today!! I created the cover and inside illustrations for the Reno News and Review’s Annual Best Of Issue, which was so much fun and you can check it out online too. Working with the editors, Brian and Brad, was a real treat; they were excited by my ideas and easy to work with. Together we came up with the theme of Nevada mythological creatures which I couldn’t have been more excited to do! It was a pretty fast paced turn around but I’m pleased with the paintings I created and it was just the right illustration project for me at the right time. Brad also interviewed me for the project as well and it was so nice chatting with him about how much we love Reno. That is also in the Best Of issue.

I’ll also be having my first solo art show through all of September of these paintings for this project at Hub Coffee Roasters at the Riverside location. We’ll be throwing a big reception too with a few surprises so stay tuned for the date- I’ll announce it here, on Instagram, and Facebook so follow me in one of those spots to keep up to date.

Here is a little preview of a couple of the images and I’ll get them all up on the website soon, but please, if you’re in the area, pick up an issue and enjoy as soon as you can! If you can’t wait- here’re the link again.

And one last thing- a big giant thank you to all of you who have supported me and my art and illustration over this past year. August 16th marks my one year anniversary into this new adventure and so many of you have been absolutely instrumental to my success. I wouldn’t have landed here a year later with this cool project, among others, if several people hadn’t prompted me to present about art, share my work, offer me projects, offer volunteer and/or teaching opportunities, and the list goes on. I hope you know who you are- I’m so grateful for you all and to be in such a rad community in real life and online.

xo,

Lisa

aliens

Area 51 aliens

waterbabies

Pyramid Lake waterbabies

sasquatch

Verdi Sasquatch

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Sunken Treasures and a cover

My painting, Tahoe Gold, is still up for the duration of the wonderful Sunken Treasures and Ghost Ships exhibits at the Tahoe Maritime Museum near Homewood. The exhibit is a combination of history and art with all kinds of really cool artifacts related to Lake Tahoe maritime history. Because of this exhibit, my painting was also chosen to grace the cover of Perspectives on Arts summer 2014 issue which was such a nice surprise. They even did a little write up about the painting and me on the inside cover. If you’re in the Tahoe/Northern Nevada area- check them out!

giant Lake Tahoe goldfish