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Art Trek, Black & White Member’s Show 

~ By Martin A. David  ~

We are happy to have Martin A. David as our newest writer for Reno Arts News. “Mardav” is a writer, artist, and more. We will be adding more about him soon, but for now, be sure to check out his website at:

The wide variety of works in the current show at the Sierra Arts Gallery proves once again that images in that simple color combination can capture the vividness of an entire rainbow. It’s true that the work can be stark due to the color restriction, but the emotional impact of much of the art shown in this group exhibition makes up for any lack of additional pigments. 

A case in point is We have family over there by Susan Handau. The unforgiving painting fills the canvas with harsh brush and palette knife strokes of black and gray. The angry surface is etched with a ghostly, almost invisible outline of a building. Even without the title, the work screams out the pain of war. The viewer’s mind is drawn to the daily reports of bombs and missiles destroying residential areas. The piece, easily one of the strongest in the show, makes a statement that once seen, it is difficult to unsee. 

One expects to see pen and ink drawings in a show titled Black & White, and that expectation is not disappointed. Yung Dactyl’s intricate and well-executed drawing, I thought there wasn’t supposed to be depression in Heaven, presents a view of paradise that juxtaposes a frightened and angry face against the soft curlicues of church-like architecture. 

Dana Nollsch’s photographs Donner Tunnel 1 & 2 capture that haunted space in a way that makes the multiple layers of graffiti on the tunnel walls look like an archeologist’s pictorial study of the primitive paintings on ancient caves in Europe. Nollsch uses his camera like an artist’s paintbrush and enhances the shapes and crevices of the existing passageways. 

Swoosh is a three-dimensional construction of wood and pipe by Elaine Jason. The bold piece makes its statement with confidence. The angular symmetry of the work seems to challenge the swirling lines of the pieces that surround it in this fascinating gallery show. 

Woman #1 is a charcoal drawing by Carlos Warner. The broad, flowing lines of his rendering give his nude subject a slight hint of the well-known series of Blue Nudes by Matisse.  

Zhanna Visnevskaya uses oil pastels to create somber landscapes that require a very close-up examination to determine that they are actually not photographs. The technique used creates textures that bring depth and visual variation to the densest areas of the work. 

Other works in the Black & White show include fabric art, acrylic paintings, additional photographs, and sketches. The selection and curation of the two dozen or more pieces in the exhibition give viewers a wide range of styles and interpretations to contemplate. The show runs until July 27th.

Sierra Arts, 17 S. Virginia Street, Reno 


At the time of posting this article, Sierra Arts announced that the Members Black and White show will be ending early. Most of the work is still up as of this posting, so go see the show early this week before it is gone.

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