a walk through of tilting the basin with the nevada museum of art


Last week I was invited to a walk through of the art exhibit Tilting the Basin at the Nevada Museum of Art. If you recall I was also able to attend the opening night of the exhibit & you can read about that night here. The walk through tour included a group of us who were there to hear more about the selection/requirements of each Nevadan artist in the exhibit, the stories of the curators first meeting with selected artists, & a few behind the scene stories & meanings behind the artist’s work. I had never been to a guided walk through at an art museum before, not even as a kid, & I found it so helpful & honestly inspiring.

Tilting the Basin is a collection of artwork from Nevada artists only. The requirement to be in the exhibit was to be a Nevada based artist who planned to not leave the state & who was committed to the art community here in our state. Some of the artwork displays parts of Nevada & it’s beauty, but it also shows different cultures & issues that are of large concern in our country as well. The coolest thing about art is that it can mean one thing to the artist & a whole other thing to the viewer.  Hearing the stories behind the artists inspiration & or meaning on what they created after already having my own thoughts on pieces was an interesting & like I said before, a truly inspiring experience.

Sush Machida Gaikotsu was born in Japan & lives in Las Vegas. His art installation was inspired by the bathrooms in Japan that are filled with graffiti. He painted clips of graffiti phrases & the actual texture of wood on his piece. 

David Ryan has beautiful patches of colorful misshapen shapes of art along a corner of the all white walls in the exhibit. This is his first collection of scattered art that goes together.

Rachel Stiff is an artist I had the pleasure of meeting the night the exhibit opened. She is a kind soul who is as friendly as they come. Her art was inspired by the Nevada sunsets as seen from her Las Vegas home. The colors truly make you feel as if you’re watching a sunset before your eyes. 

Jen Graham is a local Reno activist & artist who made something like she never had before. Her piece expresses the mass shootings that have happened in 2016 alone. She sewed together different pieces of fabric to represent each shooting event along with the street address of each shooting. An inch of material is dedicated to every human lost. The piece really puts into perpspective the problem we have of mass shootins in this country & gives the naked eye a look at the deaths of humans that matter, yet go completely unnoticed in our country. She has had to add one piece of fabric since the opening of the show. She has had to add more human loss to the piece.

Galen Brown was a hidden treasure among the crowd that day & we got to meet him. He has three different installments in the exhibit in the back corner. Each are so unique & completely different than the other. The first, was one that immediately caught my eye that first night I walked through the exhibit. They hang from the ceiling, they’re painted with different colors & textures, & they’re beautiful. They are years of recycled Christmas trees that he has collected & this isn’t even all of them, just a selected few. 

The next installment is his NO series which is oddly beautiful & can have so many different meanings pulled from it. Years ago his house burnt down & he started writing “NO” on different burned pieces of papers that he gathered after the event. He took the time to perfectly display the papers on the wall & it’s somehow powerful. The details, it’s in the detais. 

You’ll have to stop by the exhibit to see his third piece that was created by using only a No. 2 pencil. 

Erik Burke, a local Reno muralist is the final artist I’ll talk about. He believes that art should be free, which is why he doesn’t technically have a piece in the installment. He wants his art out there available to all at anytime they wish to enjoy it. He painted a mural in the back alley of the museum & you need to go see it for yourself, & then find the rest of his work around town. He was kind enough to offer free prints to anyone who goes to the exhibit. It’s a photo of one of his pieces out in the middle of nowhere Nevada. Truly, it displays the candid marriage of Nevada’s unforeseen beauty & the standstill creation of art.Thank you again for having me Nevada Museum of Art. I learned so much & truly enjoyed finding out more about the pieces & the artists in Tiltng the Basin.
— abbey kay

*brought to you by a girl who is grateful for the creative community & state she lives in 






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