HP Billboard Gallery

The Holland Project’s Billboard Gallery showcases the work of exceptional emerging and established regional artists on billboards throughout Reno’s surface streets. Three new artists are installed every four weeks in 2022.

The HP Billboard Gallery is made possible by an Art Belongs Here Grant from the City of Reno Arts & Culture Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, generous donations from supporters like Temple Builders LLC, Brooks Family Dental, and Sierra Hearing Center, as well as the support and guidance of our partners with the Wells Ave. Merchants Association and Lamar Outdoor Advertising. Thank you! Want to support this project? Reach out to alana@hollandreno.org.

2022 Archive: JANUARY | FEBRUARY | MARCH | APRIL | May

MAY 2022 ARTISTS + WORKS

#1 Location: Keystone & 2nd street

Artist: Adam Benedict
Artwork: A Bloom in Early Spring, layered fabric, thread, acrylic paint, ballpoint pen, 2022
Instagram

Bio: Adam Benedict is an interdisciplinary artist from Reno, Nevada. Using layered textiles, embroidery, drawing, and printmaking he explores small but significant moments and locations, gender, sexuality, and personal spaces.

#2 Location: Wells Avenue & 2nd Street

Artist: Häsler R. Gómez
Artwork: UNTITLED (AMNESIA VII), Felix Gonzalez-Torres “Untitled” offset print from 1993, pages from the artist’s bible, letter written by the artist’s mother from an immigration detention center, painter’s tape, drywall tape, concrete, chicken wire, tar, enamel, 1993-2022
Website | Instagram

Bio: Häsler R. Gómez (h.r.g.) was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala in 1993, but has lived in the United States since the age of four. His work predominantly investigates issues of personal, political, and social desire, and probes the complexities and connections between language, history, immigration, gender, and oppression. Gómez holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Well Well Projects in Portland, OR; Baitball Art Fair in Polignano a Mare, Italy; Sierra Nevada University in Incline, NV; Other Places Art Fair in San Pedro, CA; Zygote Press in Cleveland, OH; Carnation Contemporary in Portland, OR; Axis Gallery in Sacramento, CA; and Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Gómez currently works out of Reno, NV, and is a member of after / time collective based in Portland, OR.

Statement: As an artist whose work is steeped in secrecy, esoteric references, and a reductive visual language, a billboard at first, seems like the most unlikely venue for my work. But when thinking about billboards and their social as well as art historical contexts, I could not help but think of the billboard works of Félix González-Torres, an artist central to the lineage of my own practice and whose own work, while highly personal, utilized (post-)minimal visual strategies to express the nuances of his experiences.

In making this work, I layer an original offset print of Gonzalez-Torres’s alongside pages from my bible as well as a letter written by my mother from an immigration detention center. I stitched the various papers together and further abstracted their content with painters tape and drywall tape. I then casted the “collage” in concrete, to eviscerate its contents, however through the negative imprint it left in the surface of the concrete it continued to allude to both its conceptual and physical layers. To further bury the visual history of my source material, I hand rubbed tar into the surface of the concrete cast to create a new “image” that subtly conveys its underlying histories. My final billboard image is a detail of the resulting cast.

With these works I probe lost and erased histories as well as call into question how history is stitched together, compounded, and represented, but also how forgetting while destructive can allow space for creating and how by erasing my personal histories, I generate a space to embody loss and longing that stands outside direct visual representation and specific narratives.

I wanted to use this opportunity not to advertise anything, per say, but rather carve out a space within the sky that would be disruptive, contemplative, and even a little perplexing. “UNTITLED (AMNESIA VII)” is from the “MORNINGSTAR” series, which takes inspiration from the plight of the devil as an archetype for the experiences of marginalized peoples.

#3 Location: 4th Street & Valley Road

Artist: Jahahi “Jahi” Mazariego
Artwork: Elise La Lombriz, acrylic on wood, 2019
Website | Instagram

Bio: Jahahi “Jahi” Mazariego is a Salvadoran-American painter and social worker. She received a master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Nevada, Reno. She utilizes her professional experience and cultural identities to highlight the social issues among the Latinx and migrant communities in Northern Nevada. She has collaborated with several local organizations in creating community paintings where she creates a design on a blank canvas that is reflective of the cultural identities among the community members who utilize these organizations to meet their basic needs. She encourages community members to participate in filling the white canvas with vibrant colors. These paintings are displayed in their respective organizations or in the community where the representation of the Latinx identity is not always visible. 

Jahahi “Jahi” Mazariego es un pintor y trabajadora social salvadoreño-estadounidense. Recibió una maestría en Trabajo Social en la Universidad de Nevada, Reno. Ella utiliza su experiencia profesional e identidades culturales para resaltar los problemas sociales entre las comunidades latinas y migrantes en el norte de Nevada. Ha colaborado con varias organizaciones locales en la creación de pinturas comunitarias donde crea un diseño en un lienzo en blanco que refleja las identidades culturales entre los miembros de la comunidad que utilizan estas organizaciones para satisfacer sus necesidades básicas. Ella alienta a los miembros de la comunidad a participar en el llenado del lienzo blanco con colores vibrantes. Estas pinturas se exhiben en sus respectivas organizaciones o en la comunidad donde la representación de la identidad latina no siempre es visible.

Statement: For the last 7 years my artwork reflects my mourning period after my family experienced family separation due to U.S. immigration policies. In the upcoming weeks of my family separation, I was intentional in capturing photos of my niece of us simply existing with one another even if it was laying on my bed watching cartoons. Something we did on a daily basis. This painting is simply that, sharing space, a privilege that I dream to have again. Like many others in our community, family separation is a common occurrence. My hope is to create awareness that families in Northern Nevada deserve to enjoy the simple pleasures of visibility without fear. 

Durante los últimos 7 años, mi obra de arte refleja mi período de duelo después de que mi familia experimentó la separación familiar debido a las políticas de inmigración de los Estados Unidos. En las próximas semanas de mi separación familiar, tuve la intención de capturar fotos de mi sobrina de nosotros simplemente existiendo el uno con el otro, incluso si estaba acostada en mi cama viendo dibujos animados. Algo que hacíamos a diario. Esta pintura es simplemente eso, compartir espacio, un privilegio que sueño tener otra vez. Al igual que muchos otros en nuestra comunidad, la separación familiar es una ocurrencia común. Mi esperanza es crear conciencia de que las familias en el norte de Nevada merecen disfrutar de los placeres simples de la visibilidad sin miedo.




APRIL 2022 ARTISTS + WORKS

#1 Location: Wells Avenue & 5th Street (visible from Wells bridge, heading North)

Artist: Jen Graham
Artwork: They Told Us We’d Have A Future #2 (Forest Fire), fabric, 2022
Website | Instagram

Bio: Jen Graham is a fiber artist from Reno, Nevada. Embracing the history of the sewing arts as a form of storytelling, recording family history, and protest, she uses traditional embroidery and sewing techniques to both reinvestigate American history and discuss current political and social issues. She has exhibited her work in both solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, including at the Nevada Museum of Art, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, the Muskegon Museum of Art, and the Museum Of Craft and Design.

Statement: Embracing the history of the sewing arts as a form of storytelling, recording family history, and protest, I use traditional embroidery and sewing techniques to both reinvestigate American history and discuss current political and social issues. They Told Us We’d Have A Future #2 (Forest Fire) is about the promise that was made to us by the previous generations that we could find the same success, happiness, and security that they did, but instead we are watching our futures be swallowed up by fires, floods, and immoral economic and environmental policy, among other disasters. The quilt behind the text depicts the progression of a forest fire where lush greens are overtaken by burning reds and oranges, which eventually become charred blacks, greys, and browns.

#2 Location: 4th Street & Valley Road

Artist: Austin Pratt
Artwork: BEES SEE, digital drawing, 2022
Website | Instagram

Bio: Austin Pratt lives and works in Reno, Nevada. He received an MFA in Painting+Drawing at The University of Tennessee, and a BFA in Painting & Drawing from The University of Nevada. Pratt is the recent recipient of the Nevada Arts Council Fellowship and his work was recently featured in New American Paintings publication #144, 2020. In Summer 2021, he was the Artist-in-Residence of Great Basin National Park. Pratt currently teaches Drawing at the University of Nevada, Reno, and in the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program at Sierra Nevada University at Lake Tahoe.

Statement: This work, “BEES SEE” is a new digital drawing made specifically for the Holland Project billboard series. In considering the scale and context of billboards as an image space, I thought about our expectations of outdoor messaging and advertising, and how or if I might be able to distance from any commercial or communicative angle. In mere seconds, and from great distances, billboards must be highly effective in visual transmission, and given our collective excellence in visual literacy, the interpretation of tone, character, and quality of rapid images is immediately discernible.

Beyond that, because of the significant financial entry-point of renting advertising space, our experience of this public junk mail and the visual insult of billboards in the US has the public immune to even noticing them at best, and on psychic defense from unsolicited sales at worst. Because of the cost, their promotions must be financially effective–therefore, despite our varying spectrum of media literacy, we are not expected to be surprised by these images or to be given reprieve from capitalism, much less engaged in a no-strings-attached aesthetic experience.

In considering this context, I wanted to make some work for this space as unambiguously removed from advertising as possible through a distinctly ambiguous and confusing gesture. This digital collage appropriates the strangely buzzing optical illusion known as the “Out of Focus” illusion first described by Japanese master Akiyoshi Kitaoka in 2001.

In my work as a painter, I’m interested in perception, pattern recognition, and the limits and capacities of our vision. To that end, optical illusions are a compelling phenomenon that point to our own limitations and trouble our experience and expectation of ‘truth’ in the world. Our eyes and brains consistently seek pattern and familiarity, using prior information to predict our experience. Instead of what we might believe to be pure intake or data collection into our eyes, there is just as much unconscious projection onto the world as there is new sensory input, if not more so.

Behind these buzzing illusions, shaped and arranged here like silly shimmering flowers, this drawing also plays with the “armature”, or hidden substructure of the image format and picture plane that artists use in composing images, whether paintings, photos, or cinema. This lattice of lines – vertical, horizontal, and diagonal are found by dividing the image into fractions and playing off of significant intersections to calculate more intentionally arranged compositions. This combination of hidden art math and obnoxious optical illusion create an image that refers to seeing itself.

This work, up through the month of April 2022 is otherwise a fun, pretty drawing imagining the inner experience of our bee friends pollinating our flower friends this spring in Northern Nevada. 🐝

Thank you Holland Project.

#3 Location: Wells Avenue & Vesta Street

Artist: Ana Perez-McKay
Artwork: Dreamhouse, new and found textile, thread, yarn, wood, light, glossy vinyl, 2022
Website | Instagram

Bio: Local artist Ana Perez-McKay is a BFA candidate in Printmaking at the University of Nevada, Reno, working in print, textile, and multimedia narrative illustration. Dreamhouse marks Ana’s third solo exhibition. Ana’s work has appeared in over a dozen group shows locally and in print publications including Brushfire Literature and Arts Journal, Wizards In Space Magazine, and DIY Space for London’s Pink Zine. Ana has also been a member of the Holland Project gallery committee, curated small shows, been a vendor at numerous craft fairs, created artwork for musicians, and is currently interning at Laika Press.



MARCH 2022 ARTISTS + WORKS

#1 Location: Wells Ave. & 2nd St.

Artist: Julia Schwadron Marianelli
Artwork: Big Meadow (detail), acrylic ink on paper, 2020
Website | Instagram

Bio: Julia Schwadron Marianelli is an artist who has shown her work across the country as well as internationally. Schwadron Marianelli served as founder of, and the Assistant Director for, the Low Residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Sierra Nevada University, helping to provide alternative modes for non-traditional students to create sustainable lives in the arts. In addition to her painting studio practice, she currently serves as an artist mentor, workshop instructor and facilitator, and is on the art faculty at Lake Tahoe Community College. From 2010 – 2011, she was a Visiting Professor of Painting and Artist in Residence at Chiang Mai University, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Painting at the University of Iowa from 2007-2009. She was a Javits Fellow from 2002-2003. Schwadron Marianelli received her BA in Studio art from UC San Diego in 1998 and her MFA in Painting from the Tyler School of Art in 2003. She currently lives and works in South Lake Tahoe with her husband and two kids, where she continues to advocate for alternatives to traditional art education. Her work is represented by Melhop Gallery in Nevada.

Statement: In my most recent body of work, “Trembling Grass / Vibrating Grass,” I use text phrases that function as titles to begin many of the paintings. These linguistic fragments refer simultaneously to the natural environment and the human psyche. One painting, “Suppression Tactics” was conceived of as I considered the wildfire conditions in west alongside the systemic ways that information is kept from the people who need it most. The text matrix as the first layer is meant as a place holder for thought as well as a visual structure to organize the painting itself. In the case of “Big Meadow,” features of the physical landscape of portions of the Tahoe Rim Trail are layered on top of the text “EVERYTHING,” a word that is repeated and flipped on itself, meant to be read and also to serve as a skeleton for the successive layers to come.

#2 Location: Wells Ave. & Pueblo St.

Artist: Emily Najera
Artwork: Nystrom Guest House, 2022
Website | Instagram

Bio: Emily Najera is an editorial and documentary photographer in Reno, Nevada. Often partnering with historic preservationists and urban planners, she documents and archives the changing landscape of city neighborhoods.

Emily’s been photographing Reno for over the past decade. Her earliest images document the impact of the Great Recession and foreclosure epidemic on Reno’s neighborhoods. In recent years her images document the boom of re-development and the struggle between preservation, revitalization, and growth.

Statement: The Nystrom Guest House was built in 1875 at 333 Ralston Street in Reno, Nevada. For most of the 20th century, it served as a haven along the Lincoln Highway for people seeking a divorce. In 2018 the house was bought by Jacobs Entertainment, a gaming, hospitality, and entertainment company based in Golden, Colorado. The company has been buying and demolishing properties in west Reno to develop an entertainment district and revitalize the area. After the purchase, the Nystrom Guest House, which belongs to the National Register of Historic Places, was moved to an empty lot where it’s rapidly deteriorating. It is unknown if the house will be included in Jacob’s revitalization plans, but in a recent interview, Jeff Jacobs said he plans to create a historic quad where you can relax with wine and donuts. View more of Emily’s documentation of a changing Reno on her website.

#3 Location: Kietzke Ln. & Gentry

Artist: Greg Allen
Artwork: EMD SD 45 7521 Outbound From the Sparks, Nevada Yard, c. 1996, oil on canvas, 2022
Website | Homebodies w/ Greg Allen

Bio: Most often a realist painter, occasional photographer, known to enjoy writing, full-time hedonist. Based in Reno, NV.

Statement: My paintings capture a sense of place and time: the American West and the Age of Oil. The roadside motels and diners, gas stations, and vehicles that fuel my depictions are the iconic outposts of the previous century. In the spare landscape and small towns of the West, post-World War II architecture, signage, and design are rendered as monoliths, deifying America at the height of its power. My work is a celebration of a time before planned obsolescence, the last vestiges of craftsmanship and things well made in a country racing to put the first man on the moon. I paint monuments to places rapidly disappearing in the rush toward urban renewal, a memento mori of a bygone era.


JUNE 2022 FORTHCOMING ARTISTS

Ruby Barrientos
Kai Morikawa
Ron Rash


THANK YOU MAJOR SUPPORTERS