By ALLY GRAVINA  |  Moonshine Ink

“Natural beauty inspires creativity,” explained Truckee Open Art Studios Tour (TOAST) founder Carla Beebe, sitting among the diverse collection of sculptures that fill her husband’s woodworking studio in Truckee. “Living somewhere we love inspires us to live creative lives.”

Beebe spent the past seven months developing the TOAST, a 10-day celebration of art that aims to put Truckee on the map as more than a haven for outdoor activities. When Tahoe ARTour changed its dates to the fall and decided to focus mainly on the North Shore, Beebe took the opportunity to break away and create a Truckee-specific event.


The tour, presented by the Nevada Arts Council, introduces the community to 28 nationally recognized artists by touring art studios all located within 10 minutes of downtown Truckee. The artists work with just about every medium imaginable — wood, eggshells, quilts, guitars, metals, and more. The long-term purpose of the event is to connect funds, programs, artists, and the public to turn Truckee into a cultural destination. According to Beebe, a cultural tourist stays longer and spends more money than other visitors.

“[TOAST] invites visitors to experience the evolution of art from creative spark to finished product through demonstration and dialogue,” Beebe said. “Cultural and creative industries are increasingly being used to promote destinations and enhance their competitiveness in the global tourism market. Our own artistic community is vibrant and growing with tremendous creative energy.”

Aside from studio tours, special TOAST events include poetry readings and live music at Artisans Marketplace, an 18-artist co-op space on Donner Pass Road, plus a historic art exhibit showcasing privately owned works dating from 1867 to 1998. Beebe also organized interactive workshops featuring local fine artists, which she modeled after workshops held in Santa Fe, a role model city for cultural tourism.

The event also features two documentary film screenings, on July 17 and 24 at the Community Arts Center. The first movie is the High Fives Foundation’s Marines to the Mountains, which looks at how art therapy, as well as equine, dog, and fly-fishing therapies, help veterans. The show’s proceeds benefit the Veteran’s Memorial Hall and Art-Health Alliance programming.

“I knew that veteran programming is very limited in Truckee, so I [wanted] to honor our military through film, speakers, and a roundtable discussion of the types of art and recreational programs,” she said. “I thought this would be a great way to honor another local organization and highlight a very moving story about one veteran’s journey back to the ski hill after serious injury.”


  • Ally Gravina

    Ally Gravina is a freelance journalist and former Moonshine editor based in Graeagle. She has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in arts and culture reporting.

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