Nevada County Arts Council Launches Artists in Storefronts
In response to the economic downtown resulting from the COVID-19 public health crisis, Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District, led by Nevada County Arts Council and its partners, is once again stepping up, showing our community how vital and exciting the role of artists are when working in partnership with businesses.
WHAT IS ART IN STOREFRONTS
Our new pilot project is called Art in Storefronts. Our partners include the Cities of Nevada City and Grass Valley, Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Grass Valley Downtown Association and our project is supported by a grant from Nevada County Economic Resource Council.
From September 2020 onwards, artists and artist teams are partnering with local property and business owners to place site-responsive, temporary, art installations that stir the imagination and remind us what great downtown areas we have.
Installations will be shown in storefront windows that are vacant and, depending upon the property, they will be on display for varying lengths of time in downtown Grass Valley and Nevada City, from September – December 2020.
Our Art in Storefronts initiative follows a hybrid model of revitalization known globally as the ‘slack space movement’ in which – during recessions and depressions – the creative community forms partnerships with property owners to transform their storefronts, stimulating the imagination of those passing by, creating a sense of local industry, and maintaining the image of the property in its commercial setting.
WHERE TO FIND OUR ARTISTS
217 BROAD STREET
APRIL DURHAM AND BRYAN GORRIE
“Songs to Sing in Times of Sorrow” (more information here)
This media installation is a visual poem that uses cast off materials that cannot connect to the productive world of social networks and consumer goods. Salvaged wood, old tech, found images, and fragmented objects are recast in a theatre where longing and desire regenerate in the abandoned spaces of sociability and exchange. Lavender light speaks to potentials for transcendence while the pulsing rhythm of the silent films and hand-made slide projections generate their own kind of polyphonic music — deeper and more sacred than Row Your Boat but not quite the Music of the Spheres. Surreal photomontage, partial ceramic faces, and a purple forest dreamscape hint at a world that could exist in the future or maybe only in the imagination.
ALPHA BUILDING, 210 BROAD STREET
“The Big Wheel” is a large hand-cut paper installation. Each panel is hand-cut with hundreds of X-acto blades out of 100% Cotton paper in Perhson’s small Nevada City studio. The work was originally commissioned by Facebook for a private event at Moscone Center in San Francisco in 2018 and was exhibited at Art On Paper International Art Fair at Fort Mason in San Francisco later that year. The title was taken from the Class McCombs song “Big Wheel” and parts of the installation were used in the Cass McCombs video for the song “Sleeping Volcanoes” filmed at the dance studio of post-modern dance Icon Anna Halprin in Marin County.
Pehrson’s installations have been featured in Viacom’s Time Square HQ, and Facebook’s Palo Alto HQ as well as Salon91 Gallery in Capetown, South Africa and South Korea’s Daelim Museum.
Last year a permanent installation was installed at San Francisco International Airport’s new Grand Hyatt terminal along with other prominent Bay Area artists.
Pehrson continues to live and work in Nevada City. (More information about Tahiti Pehrson here)
CALIFORNIA HERITAGE INDIGENOUS RESEARCH PROJECT
“An extinct” language” This exhibit briefly addresses forms of erasure. Who are without language, rituals and teachers. More information about CHIRP here
COMMUNITY ASIAN THEATRE OF THE SIERRA
Remember the Past—Embrace the Future (more information here)
In one window is a design inspired by the Chinese author, Amy Tan and her book, “The Joy Luck Club,” a play CATS was due to perform in spring 2020, but which was postponed due to Covid. “The Joy Luck Club” is a story about healing and making peace between generations. On the opposite window, our installment is inspired by the Japanese Internment, or Japanese Incarceration, during WWII. The reality of incarceration of a people is very present today. There is nothing political about our designs. Rather, we hope they will stimulate thoughtful reflection. Our lead designer is Sovahn LeBlanc.
232 COMMERCIAL STREET
“Sacred Pool” (More information here)
“Sacred Pool” is inspired by the idea that clear flowing water is nourishing and healing to the body, mind, and spirit. Pamela’s work as a glass artist spanned 26 years, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, with commissions here in Nevada County that were similarly inspired by themes of water, most notably at the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. Since 2000, Pamela has been primarily a theatre artist designing, painting, and producing here in Nevada County.
The Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District, Nevada County Arts Council and its partners are incredibly grateful to the Nevada County Economic Resource Council for its support of our pilot project as our founding sponsor. We also thank The County of Nevada for its generous contribution.