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Historic Riverside Building’s impact captured in portrait exhibition


“Consternation” – a portrait of dance artist L. Martina Young by Carolyn Holt, 2014.

SIERRA ARTS NEWS RELEASE – Many know the significance of Reno’s historic Riverside Building on the corner of the Truckee River and South Virginia Street, formerly a hotel, now filled with businesses and artists live/work spaces. With its upcoming exhibition at the Sierra Arts Gallery, “Facing 88 Years of The Riverside: Portraits of People who were Influenced by Reno’s Historic Landmark”, The Portrait Society of Reno brings a human face to to this grand brick facade. The show runs from April 2 through the 25 with a reception from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, sponsored by Wild River Grille.

If the eyes can be windows to the soul, portraits can be windows to the life.  When L. Martina Young sat as a model for the Portrait Society of Reno, artists were excited to learn more about her internationally-recognized work as a dancer and choreographer.  It was her connection to another of the group’s models which inspired this exhibit: Young and the singer-songwriter Kim Elise are both artists in residence at the Riverside Artist Lofts, located in the former grand hotel where Elise’s grandfather had been employed. The group did not have to look far to find a wide variety of interesting models who have worked, played and lived in the red brick building on the Truckee.

Looking in through the windows of the Riverside, built in 1926 at 17 South Virginia Street, in Reno, you can see at any given moment a vibrant crowd in celebration or an interesting art exhibition in progress.  This lovely Late Gothic Revival-style building has been witness to 88 years of Reno history, from the “golden age” of casino showroom entertainment to the burgeoning development of and contributions to the arts in Reno today. Here, the Portrait Society of Reno presents a collection of portraits which are intimate windows to the artistic history of Reno, through a group of people whose connection to its birth, tradition and evolution is the historic Riverside Hotel.

For more information visit Sierra Arts on the web at www.sierra-arts.org or call 775-329-2787.

In 1957 a group of Reno Artists gathered to practice their skills at portraiture. They have been meeting once a week ever since, to paint from life models. In 2000 the artists incorporated as the Portrait Society of Reno. The weekly sessions are open to all interested artists. A model sits for about three hours, and the artists have the option of using any kind of medium. Local artists who have participated in the portrait workshop have enjoyed camaraderie with their peers and the growth and learning experience of working with live models. The Portrait Society of Reno is dedicated to the appreciation of and Education in the fine art of portraiture. The Society meets every Wednesday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at Nevada Fine Arts, 1301 South Virginia Street, and puts on shows regularly. 

The Sierra Arts Foundation’s mission as a local arts agency is to be the region’s premier arts organization with an emphasis on teaching, nurturing and supporting the arts in our community. Sierra Arts strives to provide education opportunities for artists of all ages, as well as development and training, financial support and promotional and marketing assistance. Sierra Arts creates and manages spaces and venues throughout our community for artists to perform and display their work.
Miriam Hodgman
Miriam Hodgman
Miriam Hodgman is originally from San Francisco. She previously was the communications coordinator for the largest hunger-relief organization in Sonoma County, California. She has a bachelor’s degree in American history, with a minor in American Indian studies, from San Francisco State University, and has a master’s degree in public administration from Sonoma State University. She enjoys training a variety of martial arts.