Five things you need to know about ‘Tilting the Basin’

Tilting the Basin” ran at Reno’s Nevada Museum of Art from August through October.
Photo: Mikayla Whitmore

1. Tilting the Basin: Contemporary Art of Nevada is coming. This group art show, featuring the works of more than 30 artists from across Northern and Southern Nevada, lands in Las Vegas on March 17, following a wildly successful summer 2016 run at Reno’s Nevada Museum of Art. It will show here through May 14, in a refurbished Arts District warehouse space at 920 S. Commerce Street.

2. It’s kind of a big deal. As a museum-quality showcase of Nevada contemporary art, Tilting is largely unprecedented. Something on this scale was first attempted in 2007, when prominent art critic and former local Dave Hickey curated Las Vegas Diaspora at the now-closed Las Vegas Art Museum—but that show featured mostly Vegas-based artists who had studied with Hickey at UNLV. “This is the first time there has been a concentrated effort to really be inclusive of the Northern and Southern communities,” says Amanda Horn, Nevada Museum of Art’s director of communications. “[It’s] a true survey of work, across a vast divide.”

3. You know the players. Tilting’s roster of artists is packed with recognizable names. Six of those artists—locals Justin Favela, David Ryan, Brent Sommerhauser and Rachel Stiff, and Northern Nevada’s Galen Brown and Katie Lewis—are prominently featured, while others are represented with a few works apiece. Other Vegas-area artists in the show include JW Caldwell, Sush Machida Gaikotsu and Wendy Kveck. Rebekah Bogard, Joseph DeLappe, Jen Graham and many more represent Reno/Carson.

4. The North/South thing happens behind the scenes, too. Nevada Museum of Art’s curatorial director, JoAnne Northrup, created the show in partnership with Michele C. Quinn, owner of MCQ Fine Art Advisory and an executive committee member of the future Art Museum at Symphony Park. Together, the two visited more than 50 studios statewide, looking for Tilting’s chosen.

5. The show is a test balloon. Tilting’s temporary space, provided by developer Steven Molasky, isn’t far from where we’ll soon see an art museum spring up in Symphony Park. Horn says organizers are hopeful that the stand-alone space “will provoke dialogue in the community about what it could mean to have an art museum” in the heart of the city, while “paying homage to the movement that’s been happening in the arts scene in the Downtown corridor.”

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