Upcoming Events

June 3, 2017

First Saturday: Nevada’s First Ladies

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.

Start: June 3, 2017 2:00 pm
End: June 3, 2017 2:00 pm
Venue: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center
Phone: 7753551144
Address:
814 Victorian Avenue, Sparks, NV, 89431, United States
Cost: Free

June 10, 2017

Children’s Day: Free Admission and Activities

Join the Sparks Museum for Children’s Day on June 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. Children 18 and younger can tour the train and museum for free and participate in fun activities like hulu hoops, puzzles, coloring pages, ball toss, and more.

Children 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult at the event.

Children’s Day is held in collaboration with Kiwanis Club of Downtown Sparks.

Start: June 10, 2017 1:00 pm
End: June 10, 2017 1:00 pm
Venue: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center
Phone: 7753551144
Address:
814 Victorian Avenue, Sparks, NV, 89431, United States
Cost: Free

June 17, 2017

Mountain Picassos: Basque Arborglyphs of the Great Basin

Jean Moore Earl and Phillip I. Earl, City Couple, Wax-on-muslin rubbing, 1975 (Genoa Peak), Carver: Etienne Maizcoren

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.

Start: June 17, 2017
End: June 17, 2017
Venue: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center
Phone: 775-355-1144
Address:
814 Victorian Avenue, Sparks, NV, 89431, United States
Cost: Free

July 1, 2017

First Saturday: The 1915 Transcontinental Film Convoy

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.

Start: July 1, 2017 2:00 pm
End: July 1, 2017 2:00 pm
Venue: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center
Phone: 7753551144
Address:
814 Victorian Avenue, Sparks, NV, 89431, United States
Cost: Free

July 6, 2017

Paint Along: Children’s Watercolor Workshop

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 kelly@sparksmuseum.org.

Start: July 6, 2017 10:00 am
End: July 6, 2017 10:00 am
Venue: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center
Phone: 7753551144
Address:
814 Victorian Avenue, Sparks, NV, 89431, United States
Cost: Free

July 12, 2017

Basque Dance Performance and Lesson

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.

Start: July 12, 2017 6:30 pm
End: July 12, 2017 6:30 pm
Venue: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center
Phone: 7753551144
Address:
814 Victorian Avenue, Sparks, NV, 89431, United States
Cost: Free

July 20, 2017

Images of America: Sparks History Book Launch and Signing

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.

Book info:

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.

Start: July 20, 2017 5:00 pm
End: July 20, 2017 5:00 pm
Venue: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center
Phone: 7753551144
Address:
820 Victorian Avenue, Sparks, NV, 89431, United States
Cost: Free

July 26, 2017

“The Hammer of Witches” Basque Book Reading

“The Hammer of Witches” by Begoña Echeverria

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.

Start: July 26, 2017 7:00 pm
End: July 26, 2017 7:00 pm
Venue: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center
Phone: 7753551144
Address:
814 Victorian Avenue, Sparks, NV, 89431, United States
Cost: Free

July 27, 2017

ñimiNOKA: Children’s Basque Sing-Along

Andréa Bidart, Begoña Echeverria and Cathy Petrissans of NOKA

ñimiNOKA teaches children and their parents simple Basque terminology and concepts through song from 11 a.m. to Noon on July 27. In this program, NOKA sings traditional Basque songs as well as those with original Basque-English lyrics with guitar played by Catherine Petrissans, accompanied by a multimedia presentation with images to scaffold the learning of the Basque terms. Begoña Echeverria has written lyrics to 30 songs to teach Basque vocabulary and concepts. She has used popular tunes such as “Old MacDonald” to teach Basque terms for animals; “de Colores” to teach color terms; and to teach the names of the seven Basque provinces, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

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.

ñimiNOKA is sponsored by the City of Sparks.

Start: July 27, 2017 11:00 am
End: July 27, 2017 11:00 am
Venue: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center
Phone: 7753551144
Address:
814 Victorian Avenue, Sparks, NV, 89431, United States
Cost: Free

August 5, 2017

First Saturday: Virginia Street Bridge Project

Chris Martinovich presents “The Virginia Street Bridge Project” at 2 p.m. on August 5. 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.

The presentation on the replacement of the Virginia Street Bridge will cover the following topics:

  • A brief history of the crossing and past bridges located at the site.
  • A summary of the bridge selection process.
  • A description of key bridge design elements.
  • Numerous photos of the work throughout the construction process with descriptions of the key concrete elements such as the arches, tie beam, and deck.
  • A summary and description of the entire construction process including the “Bridge Launch” as an innovative method to accelerate the construction.

Chris Martinovich has eight years of experience as a Professional Engineer with Jacobs Engineering. For the City’s Virginia Street Bridge Project, he was part of the design process by leading coordination between all design disciplines and the development of the roadway, structure, floodwall, and utility designs. He oversaw the completion of the environmental permitting process including coordination with agencies such as NDOT, FHWA, and the USACE. Chris was the project manager for the construction phase of the project and was responsible for construction management and daily coordination with the contractor.

Chris is a native Northern Nevadan and lives in Carson City.

Start: August 5, 2017 2:00 pm
End: August 5, 2017 2:00 pm
Venue: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center
Phone: 7753551144
Address:
814 Victorian Avenue, Sparks, NV, 89431, United States
Cost: Free