Art Exhibit to Raise Money for Nevada Land Trust

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RENO, Nev. -- As part of Artown, 30 top artists from the region are joining forces to share their talents for a good cause. Open Spaces and Special Places: The Art of Conservation is an art show designed to help the Nevada Land Trust. It provides a unique view of the landscapes around us as seen through the eyes of the artists.

Some of the places you'll see may look familiar. That's because they are probably right in your backyard.

"They're real places with a few things perhaps added in, for instance, this one is up on the Carson pass, I put the river in there that doesn't really exist. The foreground was pretty open and empty," Mike Callahan, local painter said.

From Gold Field to Winnemucca, they are some of the Nevada's most rural and unspoiled lands protected by the Nevada Land Trust. They are areas that have inspired the artists.

"It's important to preserve some of the natural beauty that's around here and the Nevada Land Trust is doing a good job with that."

Mike Callahan is a fourth generation Nevada who has a passion for portraying the landscapes in jeopardy of urban development.

"Growing up here has given me a solid depth of understanding appreciation for this place," Callahan said. "That just helps me to pass that on to the viewer."

It's an appreciation that has been lost to some residents and visitors

"Sometimes people first get here and think, 'well, I don't see anything,' but I think people need to be patient and open their eyes," Alicia Sella, Nevada Land Trust co-executive director said.

The exhibit isn't just featuring adults, but also budding you artists and future conservationists from elementary school to high school.

"We make sure that the children see the beauty that's around us, here in Nevada, that we raise those children to be adults who are sensitive to those views, maintaining those views, maintaining that recreational access, maintaining wildlife habitats," Sella said.

"This is possible, somebody can do this so that means we can. It's not impossible," Jordan Ecker, 11-year-old art enthusiast said.

The artists will donate 50% of their proceeds to the Nevada Land Trust. The Art of Conservation is free to the public and will premier tomorrow, Saturday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. at the Wilbur D. May Museum.