Donner, Party of Six….

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Hung Liu, Jiu Jin Shan HUNG LIU (Old Gold Mountain), 1994, 200,000 fortune cookies with support structure and train tracks, Dimensions variable, Collection of the artist

John and I paid a visit to the Nevada Museum of Art today.  The exhibit encompassed a visual history of the Lake Tahoe area created by  175 painters, sculptors, photographers, architects and Native American basket weavers.  It showed us gorgeous baskets and many historical artifacts, including a lot of information about the Donner party tragedy.

My taste in art usually lends itself to a much more contemporary aesthetic than the three floors of landscape paintings that comprised this exhibit, but I did enjoy them, and there were plenty of contemporary additions mixed in, such as the piece above, by Hung Liu  Old Gold Mountain that was comprised of approximately 200,000 fortune cookies and a piece of railroad track to commemorate the Chinese railroad workers who laid the tracks across the Western portion of the USA and changed commerce in America forever.

Only certain pieces were allowed to be photographed, so I failed to capture the general feel of the exhibit, which had many, many paintings and photos that I couldn’t represent for you here.

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The museum itself, is a contemporary work of art, beautifully landscaped with indigenous plants and sculpture.

Nevada Museum of Art

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Even in the dead of winter, there is still an abundance of color.

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We had lunch at Chez Louis, the museum’s cafe, then started our artistic journey of the day on the third floor and worked our way down each floor.

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A real highlight for me were the numerous Frank Lloyd Wright studies, models and renderings.  I have visited a number of his houses, my favorite being Falling Water in Pennsylvania, so standing so closely to his work and being able to examine it in detail was truly a meaningful experience for me this afternoon.

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Falling Water

Another highlight of the Reno exhibit was the wall sculpture created by Maya Lin, made entirely of long pins, applied directly to the wall.  You may recall her name by virtue of her fame as the artist who submitted the winning design in a national competition for the big Vietnam Veterans Memorial to be built in Washington, DC.   (Sorry for the poor quality of the photo. It was taken in a low light situation without a flash.)

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I tend to dislike crowds, but one crowd I never mind is a crowd of people attending an art exhibit.  The exhibit was crowded and I was happy to see people out on a snowy day such as this, enjoying the art.

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I declined to write down the artist’s name who created these wonderful glass “globs” as we mosaic artists call the smaller versions used as tessarae in our work, but these were huge, and I loved them.

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The museum has a fantastic gift shop, too!  John bought me a fabulous new bag that caught his eye as he strolled past.   There were a lot of nice glass pieces and regionally-oriented, handcrafted art.  We both had fun browsing through it.

So…If you find yourself in the vicinity of Reno, Nevada, I recommend this exhibit.  It will impart a newfound respect for the Donner Party, the major lakes of the region, the mountains, and, of course, the topographical features of the earth’s surface in this area.

Good show, museum! (but bad hair, Stacy!)  lol!

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Please tell me what you think! Go on! Leave a comment! It's ok! :-)

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