A Town of Art

By  | 

Patrick Makuakane with the Na Lei Hulu Hawaiian Dance group out of San Francisco kicks off with the opening performance for Artown 2005.
They mix modern and traditional dance and music to reach out to the crowd.
"We found out it makes our culture very accessible to people. We can teach them a little bit about the Hawaiian language, history and culture. Yet, at the same time use songs that are part of the experience."
This is a good example of how Artown hopes to appeal to an audience of all ages and interests.
The mission aims to market local artist's and nurture Reno's cultural image at home and throughout the country.
Marva Arthurs, a teach at Ginny's Child Garden, brought a huge group of children to the park Friday afternoon to learn how to hula dance.
She says the festivities are a great way to get out in the community.
"I've lived here all my life and 10 years ago, I would not have come downtown. Now it's just a joy to come down here because it's so beautiful and the people are so friendly."
Besides music and dance, local artists will display their work throughout the month across the city.
The plaza at Pioneer Center hosts one location of 12 designated artists rotating each Friday and Saturday.
Ken Volz is a local landscape photographer who says this is a great way to integrate art into the community.
"It allows us to show our work down in Reno. Reno's growing a lot, there's a lot of people here, it's just a fun thing to do."
Annie Nolan is another local artist who makes fine jewelry.
She says she already appreciates the local art community, but it's a great opportunity to share.
"There's so many galleries to visit and so much music and culture going on. Hidden, I think the locals know about it and the more we do events like this, it brings more and more people in."
It also opens a venue to existing art companies sponsoring their own events knowing the crowd will be available.
Jill Berryman with the Sierra Arts Foundation is celebrating Saturday afternoon offering a performance by Project Bandaloop known especially for dancing in the air.
"The whole idea behind Artown when it started was to take what we locally and enhance it and make it better. So, this is a local event focused on local artists."
The fun starts at 1p-m on the 4th at Wingfield Park downtown with old time american music and at 3 p-m the festivities get rolling at Rancho San Rafeal Park with fireworks starting there by 9:30.