Candy Dance poster features original art |

Candy Dance poster features original art

Artist Erik Holland displays his original painting that will be featured on the 2016 Genoa Candy Dance poster.
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

All it took was a little artistic license to bring Jobs Peak north closer to Genoa in this year’s Candy Dance poster.

“That’s why painters rule,” Reno artist Erik Holland said of his creation which has been framed and will be auctioned off this weekend.

Holland said he created the painting specifically for this year’s Candy Dance.

He said it started out as a sketch that he shared with Town Manager Phil Ritger and they picked out the design.

“It’s an original,” he said. “I had about a month to work with. I started early, went out and painted.”

Holland said it only takes him 3-4 hours to complete a painting, but that’s not the end of the process for him.

“I want some time to look at it, then I refine it slightly,” he said. “When I went out and painted this, the grasses formed a wall. I went back out a second time to refine it, creating a visual path.”

The second trip was not without its hazards.

“I was nearly eaten alive by mosquitoes,” he said. “I had to leave after I saw 20 of them clinging to my sock. The next day The R-C is talking about West Nile virus.”

Holland has lived in Western Nevada since 1999, and started drawing cartoons for the Nevada Appeal shortly after.

“I’d been doing them in Alaska, and I loved it,” he said. The 57-year-old grew up in Chicago.

Holland is the second Record-Courier cartoonist to grace the poster in three years. Syndicated cartoonist Lew Hymers’ restored Candy Dance poster from the 1940s provided the artwork for the 2014 poster.

Holland said he’ll be at the Candy Dance with some other locally done paintings.

He said that his favorite place to paint is Wilson Canyon, but that the Pine Nut foothills is his favorite Carson Valley location.

“I have a pine tree two miles east of Carson Valley Medical Center that I can see Mount Siegel and Jobs Peak that is my favorite place to paint in the Valley.”

Holland believes we’re lucky to be living here.

“Living in the United States is not all that bad,” he said. “It’s actually a great place to live.”

The annual Candy Dance Art & Crafts Faire draws about 30,000 people to Nevada’s oldest town this weekend.

Genoa Lane, Foothill and Jacks Valley roads will be closed starting 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, reopening at 7 p.m. each day.

There will be traffic controls on Highway 395 at Genoa Lane where the highway is reduced to one lane. No left turns will be permitted from Genoa Lane onto the highway.

Parking is available at three lots around town for $5 a spot.

There is free parking and a $3 shuttle from the Carson Valley Inn, but visitors using this means should be prepared for waits as there is only one shuttle running every 30 minutes, and it only holds about 20 people a trip.

Tickets are still available to the dinner-dance that gives the event its name.

Dinner will be provided by Reno’s Cherry Bomb Catering for the first time, with live music provided by Decoy.

Candy Dance is a longtime Genoa tradition, founded in 1919 by Lillian Virgin Finnegan to raise money to install streetlights in the town.

Originally a dance where townspeople sold candy, a craft fair was added to the event in the 1970s.

Today, renting craft booths provides most of the town’s annual revenue, with money raised by the dance and candy revenues going to pay for expenses.

According to Town Historian Billie Jean Rightmire, the town was founded in 1851. It was the original seat of government of what would eventually be the Nevada territory.