Blue Brick Gallery opens in Minden |

Blue Brick Gallery opens in Minden

by Caryn Haller
A large crowd gathers at the Blue Brick Gallery's grand opening party Wednesday evening in Gardnerville.
Brad Coman |

Grafx 8 owner Michael Nelson is expanding his business to include an art gallery.

Blue Brick Gallery opened last week in the Minden Flour Milling and Wool Warehouse building on the corner of Buckeye Road and Highway 395.

“The future of this corner with what Chris Bently is doing is really going to put Minden on a bigger map,” Nelson said. “I want to see Minden grow into the mecca that I saw when I came here in 1982.”

In addition to the seven artists hanging pieces in the main gallery, Nelson has a rotating virtual gallery projected on a 60-inch television.

“I can represent 100 artists and have a 10,000-square-foot gallery, virtually,” he said.

Charles Muench and Greg Drinkwine are among the current artists at the gallery.

“They are both classically trained and travel all over,” Nelson said. “It’s phenomenal to have that kind of talent here.”

Other artwork includes watercolor, oil on canvas, pastel, acrylic on canvas and traditional Japanese.

All work is for sale.

“There’s some fun abstract stuff to oil in the style of the masters,” Nelson said of the collection. “A piece of art should wound you. It should really get inside your heart.”

Nelson works with a consultant out of Reno to decide which art pieces to hang in the 600-square-foot gallery.

“The vision was to have an open, airy gallery with a museum feel,” he said. “Everybody who’s walked in here thinks they’re in San Francisco or something. The response has been fabulous. An out-of-town feel in the middle of town.”

Nelson started Grafx 8, a fine art reproduction and high resolution archiving company, in 2001 after closing his restaurant in town.

“I’m always doing something different,” he said. “This started with me and a tiny printer and tiny scanner fixing photos in one of the earliest versions of Photoshop. It was a real challenge to reproduce art so it looks as much like an original as possible.”

In March, Nelson decided to start showing the artwork he had been reproducing all these years.

“Grafx 8 is very successful, now we’re branching into being an art gallery and the retail side of the art world. I let the business show me where it wanted to go,” he said.” I’ve been working with artists for 13 years, and I felt I wanted to start representing some of them and do everything I can to keep arts and culture alive.”

Blue Brick Gallery is located at 1615 Highway 395 in Minden.

Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“I encourage people to come in and look at the artwork, or just sit and relax,” Nelson said.

For more information, call 783-1985.