Arts writers often say something is a “must-see event.” I’ve never said it in my life. I’m saying it now. The Reno Tahoe International Art Show is a must-see event. RTIA is the brainchild of East Coast transplants and father-daughter art marketing team Briana and Kevin Dolan. It’s an art fair in the traditional sense, a giant cornucopia, the likes of which our region’s art scene has not, until now, reached a large enough critical mass to pull off. Artists and galleries from Reno, Tahoe and beyond are showing off just about everything from Sunday paintings to abstract sculptures that’ll fill the foyer to museum-style wall works—from contemporary urban pop to austere and contemplative. There’s a strong showing of Burning Man sculptures fresh from the playa, indoors and out.

If you’re already a member of our local art community, I recommend dropping by to reconnect with acquaintances—more of them, from more corners of the scene, than you’re likely to see in a room together anywhere else. This is also a great chance to get an eyeful of work by artists, architects, and collectives from around the country. A few out-of-town displays that caught my eye were the luscious, bright, bling from the Los Angeles team Startup Curatorial, a whole roomful of lesser-known Jackson Pollocks, which the Wyoming Working Group has been unearthing and documenting for two decades now, and extravagantly curvy, wooden interior fixtures by Seattle designer Nathie Katzoff. (Stick around the booth for a while to check out his books.)

If you’re new to town, I wholeheartedly recommend a visit. This is the biggest collection of artists you’ll see in town, probably ever. Whatever your taste, I’ll be surprised if you don’t find it here.

With 240+ booths, there’s a potential for overwhelm, but the event is carefully designed so that you can isolate a bit when you need to. Many of the spaces are sectioned off enough to make it feel as if you’re in an intimate gallery rather than a sprawling convention hall. There are opportunities to catch a somewhat private chat with an artist you’re connecting with, and there’s plenty of artwork in the spacious outdoors.

The roster of events is busting at the seams with art talks, films from our local Cordillera International Film Festival, a concert schedule with favorite local acts playing all weekend, both onsite and around the city, and an awards gala Saturday night at the Nevada Museum of Art.

The Reno Tahoe International Art Show runs through Sunday, Sept. 11. I wholeheartedly recommend a visit, and if you can’t make it, I recommend cursing through the exhibitors list for some new favorites to follow. Ticket info here.

Photo Gallery: Reno Tahoe International Art Show

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos: Kris Vagner

Posted by Kris Vagner

Kris Vagner is Double Scoop’s Editor & Publisher.