South Lake Tahoe Art 2019

Spirit of Collaboration

Tahoe Arts Alliance and Tahoe Art League Expand Efforts and Alliances

Scott Forrest introduces Alex Von Maddox
Tahoe Art League Open House

      The year has begun with unprecedented enthusiasm for collaboration between local arts organizations, businesses, community, and government. The Tahoe Arts Alliance (TAA) is planning several events for the South Shore in 2019, including The Tahoe Arts Alliance Arts Fest and The Alliance Awards. New additions to the TAA board of directors are Bryan Yerian and Ellen Nunes. Bryan Yerian is known for his ceramic and mixed-media work and is co-chair of the Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) Art Department. Yerian’s January installation at John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis, CA includes an 8 ½ foot "Vessel", a sort of lifeboat made from cast porcelain, which seems to fit the bill for the organization’s goal of reaching out and bringing together all aspects of the local arts community. In addition to Yerian providing instruction at LTCC, he and ceramic artist and instructor Colleen Sidey Yerian are known for reaching out to the community with their after-school ceramics programs for elementary students. The pair are also set to soon break open their new South Lake Tahoe ceramic studio, Compass Clay Studio.

     New Tahoe Arts Alliance board member Ellen Nunes is a local artist and member of the Tahoe Art League and Tahoe Activist Artists. In 2018 Nunes participated in the Make Tahoe "quantum" series at Benko Art Gallery. Nunes’s art is currently available at Emanate Gallery, 2030 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA, which will host it’s first anniversary event, "Cut the Ribbon", on Februrary 9th from 4 to 8 pm. Her most recent works find her, "immersed in experimenting with new techniques and substrates," such as her new Tahoe themed fluid acrylic paintings. Nunes tells Make Tahoe, "Collaboration between local artist clubs, groups, art businesses, the college, and our local government would serve to make our arts culture stronger and more cohesive. A Festival of Fine Arts with exhibitions and competitions featuring artists from around the lake is one way to advance the arts and connect and grow our relationship with our neighbors." Nunes got right down to business as a member of the Tahoe Arts Alliance board of directors by speaking at the January 15th South Lake Tahoe City Council meeting. Nunes underscored that TAA works with Lake Tahoe Community College and with the City of South Lake Tahoe. The exhibits at the City Art Gallery, 1901 Aiport Road, South Lake Tahoe, CA, are the result of a collaboration between the City and TAA. View Nunes’s enthusiastic presentation on the City’s website by selecting "Public Communications" from the video links at this location.

     On the very same day Ellen Nunes was apprising the City Council of the state of the arts in South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Art League board of directors met to launch its plan for 2019. The theme at TAL this year is about making connections. Past President Kelly Smith Cassidy proposed an open house event. The open house took place on January 26th. Members were able to get reconnected at the Tahoe Art League Art Center Gallery, 3062 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA, and find out how they can work together in 2019. TAL is already gearing up for this summer’s TAL Artist Studio Tour and Plein Air events and is looking into partnering on some events with North Tahoe Arts in the future. Earlier this year, board member Cathryn Powell told Make Tahoe she would like to see more people getting involved and helping the Tahoe Art League. Now is the time to join, especially for those interested in being part of the Tahoe Art League Artist Studio Tour this summer, as deadlines to enter are fast approaching. Find out how you can join and participate by contacting

     Two people getting involved in the Tahoe Art League (TAL) are Alex Von Maddox and Michelle Gomez. Alex Von Maddox is known for his work at Benko Art Gallery as both an artist and a promoter. Von Maddox has produced several fundraisers at Benko Art Gallery, including the B4BC (Boarding for Breast Cancer) and Carr Fire Relief fundraisers. The Carr Fire Relief event has been nominated for an Alliance Award. The Carr Fire Relief Mural included collaborative efforts of local and visiting artists who created the mural live at the gallery. Von Maddox’s upcoming March 30th event at Benko Art Gallery is a film screening of "Loving Vincent". Vincent Van Gogh’s life and tragic death are rendered in oil painted animation. This event will also be, in part, a fundraiser for the Tahoe Art League. Tickets and information are available through the Facebook event page.

     Local arts advocate Michelle Gomez is also a new addition to the expanding Tahoe Art League. TAL reached out to Gomez to begin fostering collaboration between TAL and Bringing Art to Schools (BATS). Gomez has been a longtime volunteer for BATS in the South Lake Tahoe elementary schools and is also the coordinator for the arts and crafts booth at the Barton Foundation’s annual Festival of Trees and Lights. Gomez is a much needed and welcomed asset, getting TAL involved with South Lake Tahoe’s youngest artists.

     The 2019 Tahoe Art League board president is Scott Forrest. Forrest is an abstract expressionist painter, whose works are currently on display at the Harrah Estate and Benko Art Gallery. Forrest is also a member of the Tahoe Arts Alliance, and this is his third year on the board of TAL. Forrest continues to be a vital member of the local art community. Forrest raised funds for local non-profit Live Violence Free through his support and participation in the Alliance Award nominated event, 2018 Tahoe Pride Art Show "Love is a National Treasure". Scott Forrest is also gearing up to open his own art venue on Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe. The gallery will include his own work as well as those of featured world-renowned artists, modern masters, and contemporary local artists.

     Tahoe Art League President Scott Forrest and Treasurer Constance Clark met with the board of the Tahoe Arts Alliance in January. Forrest and Clark are looking forward to the organizations collaborating on events in 2019. TAL has been working with the TAA on the quarterly art exhibits at the City Art Gallery for the past two years by curating local art and providing assistance with exhibit production. The current exhibit is a solo show by TAL member David Justice. TAL also partners with Lake Tahoe Community College. Work by Scott Forrest, Constance Clark, and Cathryn Powell appears in "Tahoe Art League Presents", a TAL members group show, in the LTCC Student Center, 1 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA. The exhibit is showing now through March 22, 2019 in conjunction with Catherine Lockner’s "Obsolete: Examining the Artist’s Role in a Time of Artificial Intelligence" exhibited in the Foyer Gallery and "Off the Press: Tahoe/Reno Printmakers" showing in the Haldan Gallery, which features Cathryn Powell’s new print work. A reception for all three art exhibits takes place on Thursday, March 14th at 5 pm at the college. TAL is looking forward to collaborating with TAA on additional events, including Arts Fest and Will’s Kids, a free art fair for children held at Valhalla Tahoe in the summer.

-- Sheilah Boothby,

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