Creative Spaces-Wildflower Village

Almost 19 years ago, Pat Campbell bought four blighted motels (Westerner, Silver Spur, The Ace and the Dutch Wife) to convert to single room occupancy for Reno’s downtown workers.  John Wayne and Sammy Davis Jr. once stayed at the Westerner back in the day.  But the motels’ glory days WFV Outwere long past, when Campbell bought them.

From her previous work with Grubb & Ellis and Wells Fargo Trust, Campbell was savvy to the peaks and valleys of real estate. As a single mom with four kids, she was well aware that life happens.   The SBA threw a major curve at Campbell when it changed its lending policy shortly after she purchased the property.  Since the string of motels could not be classified as just one type of property, it was deemed “non-conforming” and she could not finance the improvements needed for the property.

“It’s been a struggle, but I’m still here,” Campbell remarked.  Financing the improvements motelcheckeredfloorhas involved a combination of crowd funding and sheer tenacity.  Their Internet presence has been successful in drawing out-of-town visitors.

Still “non-conforming”, the Wildflower Village today is a combination art gallery,  coffee house, pub, chapel, hostel, bed & breakfast and also houses Bella’s Trunk, a vintage boutique.  Its 4,000 square feet of gallery space features work of 100 artists ranging from glasswork to mosaics including work from the Indie Reno artists.

Wildflower Village’s public spaces have hosted ballet WFV Inclasses, book clubs, weddings and numerous Meet Up gatherings.  During last year’s Celtic celebration  the Ceilidh  was held at the Wildflower Village involving 19 Scottish dancers from San Francisco and two flights worth of Irish and Scottish whiskeys.  “A lot of fun,” Pat said of the event.  She intends to add more outdoor events this year.

Whether it is to meet a friend for drinks, peruse the work of local artists or simply need a spot for out of-town guests, Wildflower Village is well worth a wander.

Wildflower Village (www.wildflowervillage.com)

4275-4395 W4th Street Reno, NV (4th and McCarran)

Musician Interview-Jessica Escobar

Headshot2JessicaIn Reno, having a day job in addition to one’s artistic passion is a necessity for many creative folk.  Throughout her adult working life, Jessica Escobar has held 3 to 4 jobs at a time and might be hard-pressed to categorize which of her callings is the day job from the creative pursuit.  As a violinist for the Reno Philharmonic, interpreter for the courts and police departments, and web-design/social media consultant, her work “days” often involve nights and weekends and all her jobs require creativity                    in their execution.

Maybe some people are inherently multidisciplined.  Escobar is tri-lingual (Spanish, English & French) and happens to be currently studying Mandarin. She double majored in Anthropology and French with a minor in Music at UNR and has her Masters in Social Sciences from University of Chicago.  A violinist since elementary school, she played throughout college and grad school even performed with a community orchestra while teaching English in France.

“You have to remember it is not all or nothing,” Escobar explained about managing multiple interests.  She noted that even allotting short amounts of time to a pursuit on a consistent basis is worthwhile.  She devotes 30 minutes per day to learning Mandarin.

However even with the most careful scheduling sometimes life happens, like after a six-hour police interview Escobar requested a ride to class from a detective then had to reassure her class their instructor had not been busted.

Escobar maintains an exuberant attitude even with balancing a variety of challenges and responsibilities which proves that doing what you love makes all the difference.  “You can do wonders for your soul by doing what you want to do and sharing with the world what only you can do,” she said.

For more about Jessica and her adventures, please visit her blog: http://jessicaescobar.com/