2020 Annual Report
2020 was a year of great recognition, challenge, hope and pride. From the global pandemic of COVID-19 to racism and social justice, the Nevada Museum of Art responded to our changing world by serving our communities though inspiring exhibitions, enriching educational experiences and responsive social activities. During such a challenging time, it was fitting that the exhibition that anchored most of the year was titled The World Stage and offered a selection of works curated to demonstrate how artists draw from historical events, the natural world, cultural, racial and gender identities or a combination of these influences to inform their personal vision. We are thankful for the support of countless Members, donors, volunteers and friends as we celebrate the following accomplishments and those who helped make them possible.
The World Stage: Contemporary Art from the Collections of Jordan Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
Featuring 90 contemporary artworks by 35 renowned American artists, The World Stage showcased some of today’s global influencers alongside prominent names from the 20th-century art canon.
“…the over 80 artworks in this powerful exhibition inspire us to reflect on the incredible beauty, diversity, and complexities of our time.”
– Jordan Schnitzer, collector
With the Museum closed to the public due to quarantine, we quickly pivoted to creating virtual programming that could be experienced easily from home. Within a few short weeks, the education and communications staff launched Museum from Home, a selection of hands-on activities and exhibition experiences offered from a computer, tablet or phone. This effort engaged Members and guests by offering an opportunity to explore past programs and events and inviting everyone to share their Museum experiences on social media.
The 2020 NV STEAM Conference celebrated the processes that artists and interdisciplinary practitioners use when leveraging new and emerging technologies to change the way we see the world. Linda Liukas, founder of Rails Girls, a global movement to teach young women programming, presented the keynote address and reminded teachers about the power of creativity, technology and entrepreneurship. Over 300 educators from throughout Nevada gathererd for the event. The Conference was scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition Where Art and Tech Collide, highlighting the various ways that artists use technology to inspire wonder and curiosity. Camille Utterback’s interactive digital work, Precarious, provided the centerpiece, where the motion of visitors results in colorful, constantly changing forms projected onto the gallery wall.
“I have a much better understanding of the relationship between technology and humanity, especially with regards to machine learning.”
– 2020 Conference Participant
Nancy Peppin, Twinkie Brick Road, Not dated, Watercolor on paper, 29 ¼ x 41 ¼ inches, Collection of the Nancy Peppin Estate.
Known for her great sense of humor, the late Nancy Peppin made a name for herself as a graphic designer and Reno-based watercolorist. A Sweet Life: Celebrating Nancy Peppin presented Peppin’s favorite subjects to paint: Twinkies. Twinkies, the popular snack cake with a creamy white filling, became the subject of Peppin’s painting obsession and eventually led to national acclaim.
In the Reopening Message from Museum CEO David B. Walker: “The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic collapse, combined with a collective reckoning with racism and social injustice in America, offers an historic opportunity to listen, learn, grow, change, and invest in new ways to serve Nevada’s increasingly diverse communities. Now more than ever, art museums are essential to a civil society.”
Tavares Strachan, I Belong Here (Yellow), 2012 Blocked-out neon glasswork, Edition of 9 AP 1 of 2. 24 x 48 inches, Collection of the Nevada Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from deaccessioning
In June 2020, the Museum established a Museum Diversity Team (MDT) that meets monthly to discuss issues related to social and racial equity, and to explore opportunities for improving diversity, equity, access and inclusion at the Museum. The MDT spent months developing a multi-faceted Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion plan dedicated to a future that embraces these principles, not only within the organization, but also in support of our evolving communities throughout Nevada.
One of the last in-person events hosted by the Museum before the COVID-19 pandemic was The Scholastic Art Awards 2020. Artist Zoe Mansfield’s work Theodora won two national medals, the most prestigious honor a teen can receive for their creative work. The Museum is proud to host this prestigious and long-standing national program that honors and promotes the work of the country’s most gifted young artists.
The Museum acquired Judy Chicago’s comprehensive fireworks archive for its Center for Art + Environment Archive Collections. The archive contains materials from Chicago’s extensive body of work with dry ice, colored smoke, and fireworks, manifested in 45 projects spanning from 1967 through the present.
“I am absolutely thrilled and delighted that my Fireworks archive has been acquired by the Nevada Museum of Art, so that the work can be seen in the context of the history of land art.”
– Judy Chicago
Photo by Chris Holloman.
The Museum received an Art Museum Futures Fund grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Along with eleven other art museums in the United States, the Museum was recognized for providing outstanding service to our community and for our history of engaging and amplifying a diversity of voices through our annual programming. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation launched the Art Museum Futures Fund — an emergency grant program — as part of its emergency grant making in the face of the global COVID-19 crisis.