Artists gather in Minden for tour |

Artists gather in Minden for tour

by Jonni Hill

The Lone Tree Frame Co. & Gallery was filled to capacity and spilled out onto the sidewalks of Esmeralda Street in Minden, Thursday evening as artists and art lovers congregated around the many works of art on display for the opening reception of the Carson Valley Open Studio Art Tour.

Owner, Barry Jobe and his wife Robin, hosted the event as well as offering the walls of the Lone Tree Gallery to showcase a sampling of works from at least 30 local Carson Valley artists who agreed to open up their private studios for three days, allowing visitors to see where they work, how they work and talk to them about what they do.

This is a first time event for Carson Valley artists but it is not a first time event for the person who originated the concept. J. Rene Ekleberry, a relative new comer to the Carson Valley, had organized this type of event before. With great success, Ekleberry had organized the scattered artists in the Placerville area of El Dorado County, Calif. Now she has come to the Valley and has recreated the idea here with apparent success.

It was no easy chore to achieve. Ekleberry, with limited finances at her disposal, applied for grants from the Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts to help fund the project and was awarded the grants from both organizations. The next project was to organize a diverse group of artists and get them to agree to open their studios up to the public, a daunting task at best, but, her enthusiasm won them over.

This is all been a labor of love for Ekleberry and her goal was to give Carson Valley artists and their patrons a different perspective of the arts as well as exposure to all of the wonderfully gifted artists residing in the Valley and surrounding areas. The program is designed to give all the artists a different venue to display their art, giving it a more personal meaning than just being hung in shows and galleries which can tend to be impersonal when art buyers would like to meet the creator of the work and the artist isn’t there on sight at the time the purchase is made.

The tour also gives art collectors, as well as other artists, a chance to interact with each other, exchange ideas and in general, view the art in the working surroundings where it was created. It is an idea which will only give a cohesion to the art community of the Valley by offering a unique viewpoint on what art is, and who the artist is that created the work for all to enjoy.

Each artist donated a piece of work to a silent auction which took place at the reception. All the proceeds from the auction will be going to CASA and the Carson Valley Children’s Center.

A very special thank you goes to the Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Barry and Robin Jobe from Lone Tree, David and Diana Groendyke for the use of the Pink House in Genoa as a satellite gallery, for Greg and Stacy Drinkwine, Cynthia Davis, and Pamela and Dave Whitgob for the artist’s reception, and to all the art tourists.