Chalking It Up In Reno
~By Norm Robins~
~Photos and Video by Dana Nollsch~
Jacqueline Just and Valerie Pober:
Meet Jacqueline Just and her daughter Valerie Pober. They are competing in the Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa’s 4th Annual Chalk Art and Music Festival from July 12 to July 14, 2019. This sprawling event takes place across Virginia Street in the Atlantis’ very large parking lot complete with music, souvenir vendors, and food and drink. Jacqueline lives in Incline Village. Valerie Pober just got her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. While there Valerie played the violin and oboe. Clearly, there is art in her soul.
Jaqueline claims daughter Valerie is the troublemaker in all this. Valerie wears this handle with pride and a ready smile. But Jacqueline already has a portfolio of artwork, and far be it from me to rob a good woman of her thoughts. Jaqueline’s other daughter is an archeologist who has a love affair with the natural Nevada, the one outside the bright lights of cities. Perhaps this daughter is the real troublemaker. Jacqueline and Valerie have spent a little over two days on hands and knees under a canopy and a hot sun putting chalk to pavement drawing the beauty and majesty of the Nevada outdoors. Of course, they put their own twist on it, but that’s a story for another day. Perhaps they are crypto Tibetan Buddhists creating an American version of a mandala to be drawn, gazed at, contemplated, and then destroyed when the weekend is over because all man-made things are transitory.
Why do Jaqueline and Valerie do this? One guess is that God put beauty on this earth to civilize our savage souls. Perhaps we humans know without beauty there is nothing left for us but work, and that’s not enough. Perhaps, in contradistinction to other inhabitants of spaceship Earth, we need art, and so we are compelled to create it.
Laura Thomas is a very pretty lady with a winning smile full of joie de vivre. It’s no wonder she spent 4 years as a model working in such diverse nooks of the business as fashion and underwater photography. She gave that up to be an artist. Her media are tattoos and chalk art. She drove here from Denver to draw in our Chalk Art and Music Festival. It took 16 hours, 8 hours to Salt Lake City with an overnight stay there and 8 more on the second leg of her journey.
Taken altogether, these and other artists made for a delightful showing that won’t be seen again until this time next year. It was a showing that brought delight to adults and the many children they brought with them. Next year can’t come soon enough.