Traveling around Utah this past month I was a bit more removed than usual from the local art scene. But backpacking past pictographs on the canyon walls of Escalante National Monument’s Coyote Gulch made me appreciate all the art we find along the way — to our camping destinations, to our morning coffee, to those board meetings… Wherever you’re going, you’re likely to find some art in unexpected places if you look around.

While Coyote Gulch’s pictographs might not have been initially created as art but as information, today we can appreciate them like we do art. We stopped, we looked, we thought, we were thankful for the moment and its beauty. Here’s a look at some of the art on my way around this month. What else have you spotted?

To Coffee


Coffee shops are good go-tos for local art, but it’s usually already on the walls, which doesn’t provide much of an opportunity for artistic collaboration. Truckee’s Coffeebar gave our community such an opportunity in March, when it hosted two days of impromptu portraits with local photographers Court Leve and Grant Kaye for the Faces of Coffeebar exhibit, scheduled to show sometime in the next month. The cool twist to this show is two-fold: 1) The printed portraits will be made into a collage in the form of the Coffeebar lion logo; and 2) Ten portraits are being made into coffee art by baristas and artists Casey Detweiler and Travis Fields, who are adept at rendering faces atop foamy cappuccinos. This coffee art will then be photographed and displayed.

To Town Hall

On your way to that next board meeting, don’t forget to say hi to “Marcel.” Made by the Truckee Public Art Commission from found metal pieces collected at last year’s Truckee Day, “Marcel” is a special public art sculpture who’s currently perched in front of Truckee Town Hall. He boasts a body of nuts, bolts, pipe, and cable atop an old manhole cover. “Marcel” will be making an appearance at this year’s Truckee Day block party, where TPAC will again be collecting scrap metal to make into another found art sculpture. Truckee Day is Saturday, June 2. Participate in the street clean-up starting at 8 a.m., then join in for the community block party from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Truckee River Regional Park.

To Recreate

On your way to indoor soccer or Aikido you won’t just pass water fountains and friends in workout gear. You’ll also see 400 photos, which are a part of TPAC’s This Is Truckee exhibit.

The community-wide photo show is a unique art showcase because it comes from so many diverse lenses: from professional SLRs to iPhones to point-and-shoots. Be sure to not sprint but stroll slowly through the rec center’s halls to appreciate this exhibit while it’s up through the end of May.

To the Sky

En route to your private jet? Or just to watch air traffic control’s amazing dashboard and eat at the Runway Café like me? The new Truckee Tahoe Airport building (grand opening was mid-March) is now an art hotspot thanks to its new art coordinator, Carole Sesko. “The airport likes to be a good partner to the community, so they created this opportunity for artists to show their work and for the community to see art,” Sesko says. “People fly in from all around the world and it gives them an opportunity to understand our identity.” Highlights include colorful acrylics by Chris Richnak, oil landscapes by Andrew Jaeger, Martis Valley pastels by Sidne Teske, Sesko’s shimmering paintings, and “Flight,” a 72”-by-48” mixed media piece created by Lake Tahoe School students in 2012 to commemorate the lives of Hannah, Wyatt, and Katie Morrison, Truckee residents who died in a 2011 plane crash. Outside the airport you’ll find art in another unexpected place: on concrete Jersey barriers brightly painted by local schoolchildren.

To Occupy, Legislate, or Lobby

One of the most unexpected places you’ll find Tahoe/Truckee-made art is our State Capitol, where a poster created by Sierra Expeditionary Learning School second grader Haley Flaherty hangs in Senator Barbara Boxer’s office. Flaherty won the statewide Barbara Boxer Earth Day poster contest with her artwork that uses real rocks, yarn, drawing, coloring, and collage to advise “Stop h20 Pollution.” Congrats Haley!

~ Comment on this column below.


  • Lis Korb

    Lis Korb is Moonshine Ink’s art columnist. She works as content manager at AdventureSmith Explorations, block prints on the side (her postcards are sold at Riverside Studios), and aspires to become a llama rancher. Visit her blog:

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    Truckee, CA 96161

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