300 take part in Arts Symposium
The first Douglas County Fine Arts Symposium danced, sang, played, quilted, photographed and painted its way into the eyes, ears and hearts of an estimated 300 participants Saturday.
“There was a slow, steady stream of people in all day,” said Don Baumann, one of the organizing committee members.
Initially, committee members had hoped for around 500 attendees, but Baumann felt the fact that since this was a first-time event, the attendance was just fine.
“I saw up to 60-80 people listening to the speakers at any one time,” he said. “Each time I looked at the audience listening to speakers, the faces were different, so people were moving around, which was good.”
Audience members were able to hear everything from a college-level lecture explaining the effects of music education on brain development by keynote speaker Dr. Frances Rauscher, to piano playing by savant musician Tim Baley, to what it’s like to be a Nevada artist-in-residence by Douglas High School graduate Mary Bennett who took participants through a regime of stretching and relaxation moves often used by actors.
Dancing by the Washoe Dancers, the Creative Expressions Dance Center, The Dance Workshop and All About Dance was performed throughout the day.
Miss Indian Nevada, Fawn Pasqua demonstrated Native American sign language and Paiute hand games.
Music by the Douglas High School Madrigal Singers, the Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School band and chorus, pianist Tim Baley, the Forever Young Band and the Carson Valley Violin School and Sinfonia filled the air all day long.
The Western Nevada Community College’s Theater for Youth company presented a preview of their June show, The Wizard of Oz.
“The participants I spoke to said they had a wonderful time,” Baumann said. “We feel like we achieved most of our goals with the symposium. We wanted people to be able to see that there is a wealth of arts in our county, and that there is a wealth of talent in our schools. We wanted the schools and the community members to get a chance to see what can happen when they get together. That was the purpose of the symposium.”
Four main speakers – Rauscher, Bennett, Marcia Maccagno Neel and McAvoy Layne – presented talks throughout the day.
Eighteen seminars were available for participants to visit at two times during the day.
Seminar subjects included: computer art, arts and the handicapped, drawing in the Monart style, how to look like a dancer, china painting, outdoor painting, calligraphy from A to Z, Great Basin Native American culture, Navajo weaving techniques, watercolor origins, Douglas Arts Council, limited-edition prints, traditional music in the classroom, music for the imagination, weaving a miniature basket, fundamentals of drawing, quilting past and present and the role of the deer in Native American practical art.
Twenty-six exhibits were displayed throughout the hallways of PWLMS.
There were two pottery exhibits, two galleries represented, caricatures, china, two portrait artists, calligraphy, stenciling, Washoe drawings and baskets, Navaho weaving, three photography exhibits, beadwork, quilts, unique petite baskets, watercolors and more.
Baumann said that in light of all the information presented on Saturday, he hoped committee members could transcribe the speeches and distribute them to DCSD administrators so they could all get a chance to see what went on, even if they didn’t attend.
“If we have any grant money left, that is what we’d like to do,” he said.
“There was a lot going on that day,” said DCSD superintendent, Pendery Clark, who attended the event until noon.
“I thought it was wonderful. We are hopeful they’ll do it again next year.”