Drawings: Selections from the Permanent Collection

Bringing together visitor favorites alongside more recent acquisitions, Drawings: Selections from the Permanent Collection, highlights contemporary works on paper from the Nevada Museum of Art holdings of over 3,000 artworks. Each work in this small exhibition demonstrates exacting precision and a commitment to the fundamentals of drawing.  Whether using graphite or ink to express a mood, create space, or tell a story, artists including Katie Holten, Anne Lindberg, Jack Malotte, Erika Osborne, Martín Ramírez, and the collective consisting of Wilson Díaz, Amy Franceschini and Renny Pritikin, have made drawing a vital component of their practice.

Visions from Smoke Creek: Paintings by Michael Moore

Michael Moore is a painter based nomadically in the San Francisco Bay Area, southern Colorado, and the Smoke Creek Desert in Nevada. Moore spends three to five months a year living and painting at his Smoke Creek studio. While in the desert, Moore rises each morning to paint the landscape of the Smoke Creek playa. This meditative practice yields hundreds of watercolor studies that he displays in his studio in large wall grids. He also traverses the Great Basin seeking subjects for his larger paintings made in either watercolor or acrylic. Moore’s thinly applied paints evoke the transparency of the desert and its expansive skies.

Exhibition support provided by Wanda Casazza, in memory of Earl Casazza

My Land, My Dreaming

This exhibition presents a selection of artworks by Aboriginal Australian contemporary artists that are both gifts to the Nevada Museum of Art and loans from private collectors. Most museum acquisitions of Aboriginal Australian art in the United States have arisen recently from the generosity of private collectors, but the Nevada Museum of Art began working with Aboriginal artists in remote desert communities more than a decade ago through research projects in association with our Center for Art + Environment. By 2017 the Center had acquired more than a hundred paintings from field projects for its collections, and today the Museum hosts one of the largest public collections of Aboriginal art in the United States. The Museum has also supported cultural exchange opportunities for visiting Aboriginal Australian artists and Great Basin Indigenous communities.

The Museum’s interest in these works grew out of the idea that Nevada and Australia share many cultural and geographic characteristics, such as vast expanses of open land, rich natural resources, diverse Indigenous peoples, legacies of colonialism, and the ongoing conflicts that inevitably arise when these factors coexist. Aboriginal Australian art has its deepest roots in transmitting essential knowledge from generation to generation through stories, song, dance, and body decorations for more than forty thousand years. Their contemporary art is relevant to all of our collections and educational endeavors, whether those are focused on art and the environment, how humans alter the landscape and interact with it, and even how we code data and knowledge.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by Martha Hesse Dolan and Robert E. Dolan

[Image: Kathleen Petyarre. My Place Atnangkere. 1996. acrylic on linen. 48 x 48 inches. Collection of the Nevada Museum of Art, Gift of Robert Kaplan and Margaret Levi. Photo courtesy: Chris Holloman Photography]

A Sweet Life: Celebrating Nancy Peppin

This exhibition honors the late Nancy Peppin, a Reno-based artist and steadfast supporter of the arts who passed away in 2015. Known for her great sense of humor, Peppin made a name for herself as a graphic designer and watercolorist. Her favorite subjects to paint were Twinkies—the popular snack cake with a creamy white filling—and her obsession eventually led to national acclaim. Peppin’s artworks grace the homes of friends and family throughout northern Nevada. This exhibition will be drawn from those private collections. Upon her passing, Peppin generously left a significant gift to the Nevada Museum of Art to support the acquisition of artworks for the Museum’s permanent collections.

Edi Rama: WORK

WORK is an exhibition by the artist and Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama. This is his first solo museum exhibition in the United States. The exhibition includes a series of new drawings made on documents and notes that Rama creates during meetings and phone calls, as well as ceramic sculptures and a floor-to-ceiling wallpaper that emulates the wallpaper in his office at the Ministry in Tirana. His drawing practice has developed in close parallel with his career as a politician. Rama views art as an essential element in a functional society. A clear example is his initiative to paint the facades of decaying communist bloc buildings after being elected Mayor of Tirana in 2000, an undertaking Rama has described as “a political action, with colors.”The Exhibition WORK has traveled from Kunsthalle Rostock in Germany and has been adapted to the exhibition space of the Nevada Museum of Art.

Edi Rama lives and works in Tirana. A former professor of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and author of several books, his works have been exhibited in numerous solo, two-person, or group exhibitions including at the Venice Biennale (2017); São Paulo Biennial (1994); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2004); the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2010); the Musée D’art contemporain de Montréal (2011); Biennale of Marrakesh, Morocco (2015); The New Museum, New York (2016); and Kunsthalle Rostock (2019). Edi Rama began his political career in Albania as the Minister of Culture in 1998. He was the Mayor of Tirana from 2000-2011. Rama was elected Prime Minister of Albania in September 2013, following a landslide victory in the general elections, and his government has since embarked the path of reforms that aim to bring Albania closer to the European Union. He is currently serving his second term as Prime Minister.

A new publication, also entitled WORK, has been published by Hatje Cantz and produced by carlier | gebauer, the Nevada Museum of Art, and Kunsthalle Rostock to accompany the exhibition. WORK is the first publication to present Edi Rama’s drawings, ceramic sculptures, and wallpaper and features texts by Martin Herbert, Ornela Vorpsi and Hans-Ulrich Obrist.

Zhi Lin: Chinese Railroad Workers of the Sierra Nevada

To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, the Nevada Museum of Art presents an exhibition featuring the art of Zhi Lin, who has spent much of his career making artworks that recall the sacrifices of Chinese migrant workers in the Sierra Nevada. The completion of the railroad—which linked the United States from east to west—is often celebrated as the grand achievement of America’s Manifest Destiny and the 19th-century rallying cry for westward expansion of the United States. Zhi Lin’s mixed-media canvases, video installation, and watercolor paintings honor the nearly 1,200 Chinese workers who lost their lives to accidents, avalanches, and explosions in treacherous Sierra terrain near Donner Summit. While names of most railroad workers have been lost to history, Zhi Lin is part of a growing group of artists and scholars working to weave their stories into America’s broader historical narrative.

Media Sponsor
KUNR Reno Public Radio

After Audubon: Art, Observation, and Natural Science

Scientific naturalists at the dawn of the heroic age of scientific exploration observed and surveyed the farthest corners of the natural world. By necessity, they were artists as well as scientists, leveraging their skills in illustration, painting, poetry, and journaling to record their discoveries and share their passion.

By examining the practices of historically significant naturalists, like John James Audubon, we can begin to explore the ways in which these traditions influenced the next iteration of interdisciplinary thinking and learning. Contemporary artists such as Penelope Gottlieb, Kara Maria, and Donald Farnsworth pick up from where Audubon left off—in new, celebratory, and sometimes critical ways.

This exhibition is organized in conjunction with the 2019 NV STEAM Conference, a statewide education conference focused on ideas and strategies that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math education into innovative classroom practices that foster student creativity and innovation. The NV STEAM Conference is presented in partnership with the Desert Research Institute’s Science Alive program and supported by the Nevada Department of Education and the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

Major Sponsor

Mario J. Gabelli, CEO Gabelli Funds


Nancy and Ron Remington

The Body of a House: Paintings by Robert Beckmann

This series of eight, large-scale paintings by Robert Beckmann reveals the potential effects of a nuclear detonation on an American-built, single-family home. The series is based on real-life, Cold War-era testing undertaken on the Nevada Test Site (now the Nevada National Security Site). The deep-red images are based on footage from a 1953 documentary film about the detonation of a 16-kiloton nuclear bomb nicknamed “Annie.” The artist remembers watching the film as a young boy growing up during the Cold War era.

Celebrating Israel’s 70th Anniversary: Michal Rovner and Tal Shochat

In 2018, the State of Israel marks seventy years since its founding by the United Nations following World War II. For this occasion, the Nevada Museum of Art presents work by two female Israeli artists who create work that is simultaneously grounded in the history of photography, while delivering a fresh and independent viewpoint to the dialogue surrounding art and environment.

Several years ago, the Nevada Museum of Art partnered with John and Catherine Farahi to organize a trip to Israel for Museum patrons that combined historical and cultural site visits with architecture tours, museum visits and stops at artists’ studios. Two of the contemporary artists that the group encountered—established sculptor and video artist Michal Rovner, and mid-career photographer Tal Shochat—resonated with the group and with the Museum’s focus on artists and their creative interactions with natural, built, and virtual environments. Works by Rovner and Shochat have been brought together for this exhibition marking Israel’s anniversary.

Download the press release.

Premier Sponsor

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa | Catherine and John Farahi

Lead Sponsor


Major Sponsor

John and Carol Ann Badwick


Susan Baker, Wawona Foundation
Crystal Family Foundation

Supporting Sponsors

Nancy Flanigan; Heidi Allyn Loeb; Mary Catherine and Ken Pierson; Sandy Raffealli | Bill Pearce Motors; Suzanne Silverman and Dennis Dworkin

Additional Support

Iris and Mark Frank; Mimi Ellis-Hogan; Sharon and Gary Jacobson; Hy Kashenberg; Gary Lieberthal; Cary Lurie; Nancy and Alan Maiss; Jacob Margolis; Leslie and Steve Pansky; Joan and Michael Pokroy; Jean Venneman and YaYa Jacoby; Darby and David Walker

A Place in the Country: Aboriginal Australian Paintings

This exhibition is drawn from the Martha Hesse Dolan and Robert E. Dolan Collection.

Country is spoken about in the same way non-Aboriginal people may talk about their living human relatives. Aboriginal people cry about country, they worry about country, they listen to country, they visit country and long for country.

−Nici Cumpston

This exhibition presents a concise selection of paintings by Aboriginal Australian female artists, drawn from the collection of Martha Hesse Dolan and Robert E. Dolan. Inspired by the 2015 exhibition, No Boundaries: Aboriginal Australian Contemporary Abstract Painting, which was organized by the Nevada Museum of Art, the Nevada-based couple began researching Aboriginal Australian art, and acquiring work by female artists, as well as collaborative work or group projects.

The Indigenous people of Australia are inextricably bound to their land. Although the artists in this exhibition are from diverse communities across Australia, each shares a commitment and responsibility to country. For Aboriginal Australian people, country comprises the land, sea, sky, and everything contained therein. Each artist engages with country in various ways through their work. The artists in this exhibition paint the natural features of their country in a non-representational style that enables the artists to keep secret and sacred elements hidden from uninitiated viewers. They depict songlines, also called Dreaming Tracks, which describe the paths taken by the Ancestors as they created the world during the Dreaming. The Dreaming encodes the location of essential waterholes and food sources into stories, dances, and songs that artists translate into visual form.

Aboriginal people who have memorized the songlines can navigate across Australia by following the landmarks made by the Ancestors—such as hills, valleys and watercourses—that are described in the songs. This is called “singing up country,” which is also considered a sacred duty that is necessary to keep the world in existence. The Dreaming and the paintings arising from it are thus both systems of geography and of belief.