March 30, 2017
The Sparks Museum & Cultural Center is proud to present the work of Valeriy Kagounkin, on display from March 30 to May 13. A reception will be held April 7.
Valeriy Kagounkin was born in the Chuvash Republic of Russia in 1959. He works predominantly in the medium of paint. Valeriy attended Children’s Art School in Siberia, and later graduated from Krasnoyarsk Junior Art College with honors. He was accepted to the Moscow Academy of Art of V. Surikov in 1982. After graduating, he returned to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia to teach fine art at the Junior Art Academy.
Valeriy was awarded the United Nations Silver Medal #193 in 2012 for a body of work on Siberia Pre-revolution. In 2013 and 2014, he was awarded the Big Gold Medal from the Russian Academy of Arts. In 2014, Valeriy became a permanent member of the Russian Academy of Arts— established in 1775.
In the U.S., he has won the Phippen Family Award from the Phippen Museum, 2015, The Art of the West Award at the Phippen Museum Show, 2015, Best Acrylic at the Old West Museum Show in Cheyenne, WY,2015,and People’s Choice Award, Cattlemen’s Art Show 2016. “Rider, Pony Express” sold at The Russell Event Auction 2016.
His works hang in the Contemporary Museum of Moscow, and the Historian Museum of Siberia, as well as private collections all over the world. Today, Valeriy’s paintings concentrate on his people, the indigenous natives of Russia and Siberia and their North American counterpart, the Native American, as well as others who built the American West.
April 1, 2017
Adam Michalski presents “Northern Nevada’s Railroads” at 2 p.m. on April 1. This presentation is part of the First Saturday lecture series, where the Sparks Museum presents free programming 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month.
Adam Michalski volunteered at and worked at several museums in San Antonio, Texas, from 2009-2014, including Casa Navarro State Historic Site, The Steves Homestead House Museum, and the Institute of Texan Cultures. In 2009 Adam graduated with a MA in History from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. His master’s thesis entitled Unfulfilled Promise: Electrification and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad focused on the Milwaukee Road’s attempt to harness electric motive power primarily for economic savings instead of operating characteristics. In previous years, Adam was a member of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, the St. Louis Mercantile Library, and the Western History Association. Adam is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has lived throughout the Midwest, Texas, and Alaska in recent years. He is currently the Curator of Education at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.
May 6, 2017
Catherine Magee presents “The Washoe Tribe” at 2 p.m. on May 6. This presentation is part of the First Saturday lecture series, where the Sparks Museum presents free programming 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month.
More info coming soon.
June 3, 2017
Jan Loverin presents “Nevada’s First Ladies” at 2 p.m. on June 3. This presentation is part of the First Saturday lecture series, where the Sparks Museum presents free programming 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month.
While the Smithsonian Institution has collected and exhibits the First Ladies Inaugural Ball gown collection , Nevada has a similar collection. Learn about our early day first ladies, their gowns, their stories and their lives. This lecture starts chronologically through Nevada’s first governor and his wife, through recent first ladies and up to and including Kathleen Sandoval.
Jan Loverin is the Curator of Clothing and Textiles at the Marjorie Russell Clothing and Textile Research Center. She has her M.S. in Home Economics and Museum Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno. Together Jan Loverin and Curator of History, Bob Nylen have published “To Clothe Nevada Women 1860-1920” and are co-authors of Comstock Needleworkers in Comstock Women: The Making of a Mining Community. Jan is a member of the Costume Society of America and the International Council of Museums, Costume Committee and has presented papers for both professional organizations.
June 17, 2017
The Sparks Museum & Cultural Center presents MOUNTAIN PICASSOS: Basque Arborglyphs of the Great Basin on display from June 17 to August 12. The exhibit explores the unexpected intersection of art, culture, and nature. Basque tree carvings, or “arborglyphs,” have long been of interest to historians, Basque scholars, foresters, and hikers. These carvings have been extensively documented in Nevada and California with photographs and through cultural asset mapping. This exhibit comprises 26 of these rubbings—along with text panels, contextual photographs, and streaming video. It provides a rare opportunity to see some of the intimate personal images inscribed by Basque sheepherders in the aspen groves of the Great Basin during the first half of the 20th century.
For more than half a century, Jean and Phillip Earl of Reno used clues from old maps, letters, and books to hunt for and document “Mountain Picassos,” distinctive figures carved into aspen trees found in the high country meadows of the Great Basin. These figures, along with names, dates, and sayings, were carved by Basque sheepherders in the early to mid-20th century. Jean Earl evolved a unique method of preserving the carvings using canvas and artists’ wax to create rubbings, two-dimensional representations of the carvings that are works of art themselves, eventually assembling over 130 wax-on-muslin rubbings made directly from the carvings.
Curated by Sheryln HayesZorn (Nevada Historical Society) and Patricia A. Atkinson (Nevada Arts Council Folklife Program), in consultation with the UNR Center for Basque Studies and Jean and Phillip Earl. MOUNTAIN PICASSOS: Basque Arborglyphs of the Great Basin is part of the Nevada Touring Initiative–Traveling Exhibition Program. It was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nevada State Legislature. The Nevada Arts Council is a division of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.
July 1, 2017
Lincoln Highway Association member Leon Schegg presents “The Three Mile Picture Show: The 1915 Transcontinental Film Convoy” at 2 p.m. on July 1. This presentation is part of the First Saturday lecture series, where the Sparks Museum presents free programming 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month.
In 1915, a motor film crew directed by Lincoln Highway Consul-At-Large member Henry Ostermann, traveled coast-to-coast for four months recording scenes along the historic route. By contributing to the film’s production, towns along the highway were allowed to proudly promote their communities. The three hour film was shown almost continuously at the Palace of Transportation at the 1915 San Francisco Pacific-Panama Exposition. After the Expo, the popular film was shown to the public and school children in towns along the Lincoln Highway.
Lifetime member of the Lincoln Highway Association and former President of the Nevada Chapter of the Lincoln Highway, Leon Schegg, will share the fascinating story about the film crew as they travel along America’s first transcontinental highway. The only brief film footage of the movie will also be shown.
July 6, 2017
Artist Eileen Fuller will lead a children’s watercolor class on Thursday, July 6 in the Sparks Museum’s Cultural Center. Children will follow along as Eileen paints a scene inspired by Basque culture. Artists will be at every table to assist children as they use watercolors. The class begins at 10 a.m. and will wrap up by Noon. All materials will be provided, just be sure to wear painting clothes. Ages 7 and up.
This free event is made possible by the City of Sparks, but space is limited. To reserve a spot for your child, call 775-355-1144 or send an email to email@example.com.
July 12, 2017
Zazpiak Bat Reno Basque Club dancers present a traditional dance at the Sparks Museum followed by an interactive lesson to learn the steps of a simple Basque dance. As a backdrop to the performance, the museum’s Cultural Center also features the the art exhibit Mountain Picassos: Basque Arborglyphs of the Great Basin. Zazpiak Bat’s principal mission is to preserve and maintain the traditions and culture of the Basque people in this area, while teaching others about the culture as well.
July 20, 2017
Arcadia Publisher launches Sparks, the newest book in the Images of America Series, written by Joyce M. Cox. Explore the history of Nevada’s railroad town in this book featuring historic photos of Sparks. Purchase a copy of the book, and get it signed by the author at this book launch event.
In the late 1800s, the area now known as Sparks was ranch and farm land. It was not until the early 1900s that Sparks would become the sixth-largest city in Nevada, almost overnight. E.H. Harriman moved the Salt Lake Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad from Wadsworth to swampland four miles east of Reno, and that area would become Sparks. The railroad was the largest and most reliable employer for 54 years, before leaving in 1957. Some railroad employees were transferred and reassigned to jobs outside of Sparks, but many chose to stay. Employment was found in Nevada’s thriving hospitality industry, including John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino. Sparks became a major distribution center for national companies like S.S. Kresge and Pacific Freeport, and many manufacturing companies opened after Nevada passed the right-to-work law in 1951. Sparks is now the fifth-largest city in Nevada.
Joyce M. Cox has lived in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County off and on since 1974. Cox, a research librarian, enjoys exploring Nevada history and is the author of Images of America: Washoe County. Photographs and historic images have been selected from the Sparks Heritage Foundation and Museum, the Nevada Historical Society, and several private collections.
The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.
July 26, 2017
Begoña Echeverria of the band NOKA presents on the burning of Basque “witches” in 1610, including passage readings from her historical novel “The Hammer of Witches” from 7 to 8 p.m. on July 26. The book was the Historical Novel Society’s Editors Choice for May 2015. Following the readings, NOKA will perform Basque witch songs. If time allows, a question and answer session will follow.
NOKA is composed of three women of Basque descent from Chino, California: Andréa Bidart, Begoña Echeverria, and Cathy Petrissans. NOKA sings contemporary and traditional Basque songs, with a special interest in those about women. NOKA is a familiar form of address, used only in speaking to women. It literally means to speak familiarly or informally to women, and was used throughout the Basque Country when addressing women or girls with whom one felt konfiantza (trust). Use of “noka” began to decline in the 19th century, though speakers from some small villages (many of whom immigrated to Chino) continue to use it.
“The Hammer of Witches” Basque Book Reading is sponsored by the City of Sparks.