Artist Interview-Rachel Micander

REMI was fortunate to meet Rachel in person at the Wild Nevada exhibit during Reno’s Artown.

My biggest breakthrough came when… It was very recently. I think it came when I realized that my artwork was unique. I thought for so long that the paintings I created were generic and in an artistic style that was no longer in vogue. I recently went to a local salon to show my work in consideration for an upcoming show. I was very nervous about showing my work since I never see anything like my paintings in local coffee shops or salons. My paintings were received quite well and I will (hopefully) be having a show at the end of 2017. The gal that organizes the shows told me that she had never seen anything like my paintings before and loved how different they were. Since then, I have begun to embrace my style of painting and work to share the landscapes and birds of the Great Basin and eastern Sierra that I love so much.

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Cedar Waxwing-R. Micander

Who are your heroes in real life? I have always had a hard time defining heroes in my day to day life, but I would have to say that my parents are two people who have always taught me to do good and whom I look up to. My mother shared her artistic talent and love of nature with me and my father shared his love of sports cars, his calm demeanor, and rationality, making me the person that I am today. Also, my husband, Gary, who always supports and encourages me in anything I try to tackle and is a constant rock in my life. I have a great appreciation and respect for John Muir – he fought for what he believed in and I am so thankful I am able to enjoy the wilderness, mountains, and the beautiful western landscapes because of what he worked so hard to protect. After all, “none of nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild” – John Muir.

How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your creative pursuits? Recently, I have found that after a long, sometimes monotonous, and stressful day at work, the best thing for me is to decompress at home with painting. I find that if I have a project going at home, it helps me through my day, and I have something completely different to tackle when I am home from a 10-hour day at work. It’s not always easy, but I find that if I leave my unfinished work on the kitchen table I am drawn to return to it at some point.

What are your other passions? I love topographic maps, compasses, and old-style navigation. I am also a geologist by training and love the Great Basin in all its beauty and

ConwaySummit

Conway Summit-R.Micander

geological interest. I have a love of European sports cars and motorsports (thanks dad). Last year I competed in the inaugural Rebelle Rally, the first all-women’s off-road rally in the United States. My best friend and I competed in this seven day, off-road excursion with no GPS or cell phones through the Great Basin and Mojave Desert. She was my driver and I was her navigator. I have always wanted to compete in motorsports (again, thanks dad), and this rally made my dream a reality.

What’s next for you? I hope to continue painting the beautiful landscapes of the Great Basin and eastern Sierra. I would like to learn how to make prints of my art so I can keep some of my favorite originals. There are quite a few paintings I sold early on that I wish I still had. I also hope to begin creating stationary, and maybe one day, design wedding invitations.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? I believe that anyone can be an artist. If you want to create something, don’t let self-doubt hold you back. This is something that I have struggled with for a long time. If you love painting then you should paint.

To learn more about Rachel and her art -check out the following link: 

micander.com/art

Art with Friends

Wild NevadaSome folks are all about keeping it wild. While Friends of Nevada Wilderness  is more about open spaces than the party scene, their opening reception for their Wild Nevada Exhibit was quite the festive event, packed with artists, advocates and volunteers.  During Artown the local 502(c) non-profit headquarters becomes an art gallery featuring  a variety of visual mediums and diverse landscapes and wildlife.

“Art is activism,” one of the volunteers remarked to me.  She then noted how Ansel Adams brought remote spans of wilderness to public attention.  In addition to raising awareness of Nevada’s public lands, the exhibit also provided visibility to local artists, like Rachel Micander, who fielded inquiries about her work like a veteran during her debut show.

As an office dweller, I was pleased to see the outside brought in—long white hallways populated with snowy mountains, wild flowers even a Lazuli Bunting and an Evening Grosbeak, birds native to the Great Basin.  So corporate spaces can play host to art and nature if only for a little while.

Art for the Organized & Free-Spirited

Some wares from Resi*he(ART).

Many writers describe themselves as either a plotter or a pantser. Plotters carefully chart their course with outlines before starting a novel. Pantsers (as you may have guessed) fly by the seat of their pants. As a paralegal and a blogger, I’m definitely a plotter (particularly if you count having 4 calendars to run your life). As a writer, I’m a pantser. While I concede that outlines can be valuable planning tools, they’re just not for me.

The great thing about Artown is that it’s set up to satisfy both the highly organized as well as the free-spirited. Held during the month of July, Artown is Reno’s city-wide celebration of the arts. Orderly souls can review the Artown calendar and plan their month accordingly.  While certain events are ticketed and require some planning there are plenty of activities that are free for drop ins.

There are too many amazing exhibits and activities to pack into a single post, but I wanted to give a shout out to a couple of events:

Resi*he(ART) Open House: Sip some wine while meeting some of the creative minds behind the works featured at Resi*he(ART).  171 Los Altos Parkway, Sparks, NV      July 1, 15, 22 & 29 from 4:00-8:00PM. 775-741-4521.

Create, A Space for Arts and Crafts: Stop by between 11:00AM-3:00PM and create your own piece of art. 20 Hillcrest Drive, Space A. Reno, NV. July 8 and 15th. 775-686-6551.

Keep Calm & Read On

British researchers asked people wSundance Booksho were feeling stressed to engage in one of the following activities: reading, listening to music, taking a walk or having a cup of tea or coffee. Of the entire group, the readers demonstrated the most reduced stress levels with heart rates lowered by 68%.

It’s always gratifying to discover that one of your favorite pursuits is actually good for you. Now if only researchers could prove the health benefits of watching classic films…Since today happens to be Independent Bookstore Day, it is perfect day to pursue new literary horizons.

“There are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity.”  indiebookstoretoday.com.

Real serendipity seems like a distinct possibility at Reno’s own Sundance Books and Music. Imagine spending time in an elegant white two-story home that is all library. Not only do they have a helpful staff, impressive selection of popular and local titles, they also have a frequent buyers program.

Like local indie stores during this one day celebration, Sundance Books & Music will have exclusive literary swag unavailable during other times of the year. After you’re re-stocked with good reads, you can stop by Bibo Coffee or Too Soul Tea. After all if reading is good for you, a cup of coffee or tea with a good book has to be even better for you.

Sundance Books and Music-121 California Avenue, Reno, NV 89509

Hours-M-F-9 to 9, Sat & Sun: 9 to 5

775-786-1188

Sun Dance Dragon

Will the dragon be there? I don’t know, but if you don’t go you’ll never find out!

Where the he(ART) Is.

resiheart-storefront

Resi*he(ART) Come in and make yourself at home

 

For many visual artists today, being “seen” can be a challenge.  While online sites like Etsy offer a limitless reach, it can be difficult to stand out in such a vast forest of artists. The nomadic path of craft shows can also be burdensome particularly if one has to pack an abundance of unsold wares for the drive home.

Sara Sifre understands the spirit and the challenges of the creative journey. During college, she took every art class TMCC offered. “I’ve done just about every kind of art, but I always go back to jewelry.”

Sara Sifre’s store, Resi*he(ART), is the culmination of a ten year dream.  She yearned to  build a community of artists and once considered a coffee house featuring local art, but felt that “it had been done”.

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Sara Sifre-Yes those are chairs on the wall.

Sifre explained that she’s looking to make a connection between the artists and what they’re trying to say and the person wanting to have art in her home. The store’s name is a combination of Resident Artist +Art That Resides in Your Heart.

“As long as they’re creating something that makes their heart happy, I want it to be in the public eye,” Sifre said.

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A trio of Sifre’s necklaces

Over 30 artists have their work ranging from photos of Nevada’s wild horses to soy candles in Resi*he(ART)’s well-lit space.  Jewelry and clothing are displayed on re-purposed doors, even plastic chairs allowing wares to be seen not crowded. Many of the artists Sifre found on Etsy and Facebook as well as through her daughter, Dahlia’s Girl Scout troop. She notes that Sparks artists have been really receptive.

Creativity is a family affair in the Sifre household.  Sifre’s husband, Sean, has his drum sets in the garage and art room.  Six-year-old, Dahlia draws while her little sister, Lillianna is into music like her dad. Sifre wants to show her daughters “You can follow your dreams and make other people smile.”

In step with building community, on second Saturdays of each month from 4:30 to 7:00  Resi*he(ART) hosts a Sip and Shop an opportunity for people to enjoy a glass of wine and meet the artists and browse. The previous Sip and Shop included a scavenger hunt with clues about the featured artists with a drawing for a door prize.  With a variety of artists bringing in work regularly, each visit to Resi*he(ART) will be an opportunity to discover something new.

Details:

Resi*he(ART)

171 Los Altos Parkway, Sparks, NV 89436 (Next to Michaels)

Regular Hours-Monday-Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm-Closed Sundays

Sip & Shop-Second Saturday of the month-4:30-6:00.