Tahoe traditions, cultures displayed in photo exhibit
Images of Washoe basket designs, Ukrainian egg decorations, Austrian and Hungarian decorative arts, brilliantly colored quilts, and Cuban flamenco dancers are but a few of the photographs in a new traveling exhibit, “Tahoe: These Are Your Neighbors,” produced by the Nevada Arts Council and on display at Washoe County’s Incline Village Library through Jan. 31.
An opening reception featuring traditional art demonstrations by some of the artists will be held at the library from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The library is at 846 Tahoe Blvd. in Incline Village. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information call (775) 832-4130.
“Tahoe is home to many communities, individuals and ethnic groups who contribute to the often unnoticed rich tapestry of living traditions and folklife at Lake Tahoe,” said Jeanne Harrah Johnson, Nevada Arts Council Folklife Program coordinator. “The exhibit reminds us that the world – even the small world of Lake Tahoe – is a complex balance of diverse, talented, creative human beings who bring their ancestry, family histories, and stories to bear on contemporary urban life.”
“Tahoe: These Are Your Neighbors” takes the visitor on a visual walk through the traditions, cultures and arts of Tahoe’s neighborhoods. Photos include Washoe basket weavers and bracken fern harvesting; master craftsmen from Austria whose classic scraffito and elegant ironwork decorate our neighborhoods; a Hungarian skier and glove maker; the granddaughter of Ukrainian immigrants who carries on Pysansky, traditional egg painting learned from her mother; knitters and quilters who give their creations back to the community in need; instructors of Cuban flamenco, Mexican ballet folklorico dancers, Filipino martial arts; chainsaw carvers who recycle dead trees into lawn art; as well as spinners, weavers, and blacksmiths.
Anthropologist and photographer Penny Rucks designed the exhibit around the people she has interviewed over the past two years for the Arts Council. Rucks worked in conjunction with Johnson to develop a folklife and cultural survey of Lake Tahoe, a project funded by the Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America and Millennium Trails programs.
Excerpts from Rucks’ work will be produced in Arts Council’s first heritage and cultural driving tour guidebook next year. Since the project is still in progress, Rucks says she hopes the exhibit will stimulate additional interviews and information.
The Nevada Arts Council was founded in 1967 as a state agency charged with developing and promoting the arts in Nevada. Statewide programs include Artists Services, Arts in Education, Community Arts Development, Folklife Program, and Grants.
The Arts Council supports the work of Nevada artists, arts organizations and institutions and is funded by the Nevada State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and other public and private sources.