The Brewery Arts Center presents the Murals & Music Festival, this year hosted in Carson City from Sept. 28-30. The festival will feature local, national and international mural artists’ work on more than 20 walls in and around downtown, along with nightly concerts. 

“This one I think will be exciting and different because it’s not on Highway 80 and it is the capital,” said Eric Brooks, the gallery curator at the Brewery Arts Center. “I think because of the way [Las] Vegas and Reno has grown, the capital has been kind of left behind, and we’re all very excited and focused to put the highlight and spotlight on Carson City and the power it has. The community here is amazing, hungry and excited.”

Reno’s Edwin “Esco” Martinez is among the festival’s scheduled muralists. 2022 file photo: Matt Bieker

The first mural festival was in Reno in 2017, followed by and over the past few years, mural festivals were hosted in Elko and Fernley to bring more public art to Northern Nevada. The Carson City edition is a collaboration between  the Brewery Arts Center, Visit Carson City and the City of Carson. The artists will paint on local businesses and private residences.

“It’s nice to do a project for people that are appreciative, not to say that the other ones haven’t been, but the excitement here is at a different level than it’s been in other places,” Brooks said. “And I think some of that might be because they’ve been to Reno and seen the murals, and murals are at a different level now worldwide than they were in 2017.”

Reno’s Erik Burke is among the festival’s muralists. Image courtesy Carson City Murals & Music festival.

Gina Lopez, the previous director of the Brewery Arts Center, initiated the talk of a Carson City mural festival. Lopez and Brooks started working on the project, but—with Lopez taking a new position in California, Spike McGuire transitioning into the center’s executive director position and other people transitioning in and out—they ran into a few bumps in the road. Nonetheless, they’re now poised to put Carson City “on the Nevada mural map,” according to Brooks.

During the Elko Mural Expo in 2019, Reno artist Jen Charboneau asked people to help her render the Ruby Mountains by making thumbprints on a wall. She has a similar participatory element planned for the Carson City festival. 2019 file photo: Kris Vagner

The festival will offer nightly concerts at the Bank Saloon and the Brewery Arts Center, with performances from Dale Poune, New World Jazz Project, Ian Moore and Greg Gilmore and the Fever Dreams.

Brooks said there may be additional concerts, and that only Moore’s show is ticketed, and the rest are free to the public.

A painting by Leire Urbeltz, an artist from Spain’s Basque region, who will paint a mural during the festival. Image courtesy Carson City Murals & Music festival.

Viewers are encouraged to start at the Brewery Arts Center and grab a printed map of the festival’s offerings.

Several artists will be coming in from outside the region—including Prism from Mexico; Leire Urbeltz, a doctoral candidate from Spain’s Basque country; Dave Young Kim from Oakland; Jenn Ponci from Sacramento; Truckee graphic designer Cyan Samone; and Jesse Melanson, who works in Truckee and Austin, Texas. 

Local muralists include Anthony Ortega, Arthur Richmond (whose signature is A.R.T.), Bryce Chisholm, Doomed Movement (or Terrence Hammond); Edwin ‘Esco’ Martinez, Erik Burke, Hannah Eddy, Hayley Meadows, Jen CharboneauJoe C. RockNathaniel Benjamin, and Pan Pantoja.

The inaugural Carson City Murals & Music Festival will take place Sept. 28-30, featuring mural painting, concerts at the Brewery Arts Center and at other locations, docent-led mural tours, artist lectures and talks, children’s art activities, and interactive mural painting with the community. Organizers advise starting at the Brewery Art Center, where you can pick up a map of murals and other offerings.

Posted by Jaedyn Young

Jaedyn Young is a double major in journalism and English at the University of Nevada, Reno.