RENO, NV - Sonic Youth. Primus. The Kinks. Almost every band or musician that's done a live performance has had to get the word out somehow. That's where gig posters come into play.
Scotty Roller has been doing freelance art for more than 20 years. In that time he's created show posters for artists like Dwight Yokum, Loretta Lynn and bands such as The Misfits. Now, he has his own business, where in a digital age, he gets to introduce people to a lost art form.
"When there was no Photoshop, you had to know how to do everything by hand. So it would involve hand cutting things, hand lettering, using air brush for fades, and now it's just the click of a mouse," he says.
Screen printing is by no means easy, especially when you're doing a lot of the work by hand. First you create your image, whether you draw it or do it on a computer. Then you take a film positive of that image and create a photo emulsion. Add a screen and some acrylic paint, and you're ready to make your poster.
"There's two steps. You flood the image, which is essentially priming your screen, and then you pull the ink through," says Roller.
Rock City Posters is a one-of-a-kind business. You won't find any shop like it in the country. According to co-owner Rob Brooks, the only other dedicated gig poster galleries are located in England.
"Everybody in midtown has been very supportive, and I knew they would be because it's different than what anybody else is doing," says Brooks.
Every poster in the midtown gallery has a story, whether it be the artist that made it or the show it promoted. Some of them are one of a kind. So if you're looking for a vintage Kiss poster or even something more modern like Green Day, just know that it could be there one minute, but there's a chance it won't be available for long.
Rock City Posters is located at 1286 S. Virginia Street and is open Tuesday through Sunday.