Marcia Growdon

Robert Brady

Internationally renowned sculptor Robert Brady was born in 1946 in Reno, Nevada. An indifferent student in high school in Reno, and needing an easy class to make up credits missed during a lengthy illness, he signed up for art. By the end of his first day he was enthralled with clay. His teacher gave him the courage to leave Reno to study in Oakland at what is today the California College of Art.

Michael Heizer

Michael Heizer's roots in Nevada go deep, back to his grandfather Ott F. Heizer, a mining engineer in Lovelock in the 1880s. Raised elsewhere, he would have to return to Nevada to find his artistic voice. 

John Battenberg

John Battenberg designed Creatures of Nevada, a complex, multi-part set of sculptures and fountain heads for the first block of the Truckee River Walk, at the southwest corner of Virginia Street and the Truckee River in Reno. Retired in 1985 as a professor of art from San Jose State University, San Jose, California, Battenberg moved his studio to Scottsdale, Arizona, in the early twenty-first century.

James Edward Church

Born in Holly, Michigan, February 25, 1869, Dr. James Church came to Nevada in 1892 to teach Latin and German, literature, and art appreciation. Despite initial misgivings about Reno, both its dramatic surrounding high mountain desert and its sometimes rough downtown, Dr. Church stayed. In 1894 he married his college sweetheart, Florence Humphrey; they had two sons, Willis and Donald. Vigorous and inquisitive, he was the first Euro-American to complete a winter climb of 10,776-foot Mt. Rose, just south of Reno, in 1895.

Dennis Oppenheim

Engagement, a sculpture by Dennis Oppenheim (b. 1938), marks the street-side entrance to the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Comprised of two enormous steel rings topped by houses-as-jewels, it is apparently a monument to the institution of marriage. It also ties directly to Reno's history of quick marriage and easy divorce.

Control Tower - A Sculpture by Peter Shire

Best known for his innovative work in ceramics, Peter Shire (b. 1947) is represented in Nevada by the sculpture Control Tower. Originally commissioned by the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, the sculpture was situated in the central staircase, rising from the ground floor to the main departure area. During a major renovation of the space, the artwork was put into storage. Whimsical and colorful, it was installed in 2001 at the entrance to KNPR’s Donald W.

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

Visitors to the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) are sometimes puzzled by the black column on the plaza between Judy Bayley Theatre and Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. Closer inspection reveals an almost four-story-high variation on the classic mid-twentieth century ribbed, rubberized Rayovac flashlight. Indeed, it is Flashlight by Claes Oldenburg (b. Sweden, 1929) and Coosje van Bruggen (b. Netherlands, 1942), commissioned in 1978 and installed in 1981.

Charles F. Cutts

Charles F. Cutts was a major force behind the Nevada Art Gallery. Born in Wakefield, New Hampshire in 1871, Cutts came to Nevada in 1891. He had been educated at Packard College, an early commercial business school founded in New York City in 1858 on the upper floors of the famed Cooper Union Building. Cutts settled in Carson City and ran a successful dry goods store on Carson Street for over twenty-five years. Married in 1897 to Bertha L. Meyers, he was widowed only seven years later.

Cairn - A Sculpture by Celeste Roberge

Just outside the entrance to Reno's Nevada Museum of Art stands Cairn, a kneeling man made of rocks. It was commissioned in 1998 as part of a major exhibition, From Exploration to Conservation: Picturing the Sierra Nevada.

Will Bruder

The architect for the 2003 Nevada Museum of Art building in Reno is Phoenix-based Will Bruder.

Subscribe to Marcia Growdon