Local Art Galleries Offer Unique Gifts As the holiday season approaches, Charlie Blim, owner of Charlie B Gallery, advises going into local shops rather than big box stores. “I’ve got stuff made by actual humans,” he said. “All that other stuff is made by machines.” But when customers come into his shop, he’s not pushing to make a sale. He’s got a bigger goal in mind. “Art changed my life,” he said. “If they take the time to learn the history, learn about the artist, it could change their lives too. It’s not just about buying stuff.” The Carson City Art Walk, a self-guided tour compiled by the Carson City Visitors Bureau, features artists and galleries, all located within walking distance of downtown. “We wanted to make people aware of all the art we have in Carson City and make it easy to experience it,” said Kyle Horvath, marketing director for the Carson City Visitors Bureau. “You can’t assume a visitor or even a local is going to just stumble upon these galleries. Art should be accessible.” Mark Salinas, the city’s arts and culture coordinator, encouraged patrons to use the art walk as a shopping opportunity. “Shopping locally supports our local art scene as well as boosts the local economy,” Salinas said. “Why buy big box when you can go unique?” In his downtown Carson City gallery that moved from Fallon in November 2015, Blim offers art from across the country, as well as from Australia and the United Kingdom. “I represent contemporary artists and historic artists with a mix of regional art and pottery,” he said. He takes the time, he said, to visit with patrons about the history of the piece and about the artist who created it. “Art is about the human connection,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot about myself just by collecting art. It’s something that’s transcending.” Learn more about Charlie B Gallery, 114 W. Telegraph St., at charliebgallery.com or (775) 575-7333. Robin McGregor, owner of Carson City Art Gallery and Pottery, became a potter “from the minute I touched clay.” She was visiting her youngest sister in Florida in 1992 and learned her sister was taking a pottery class at a local community college. “I asked her to leave me some clay when she went to work,” McGregor recalled. “It came to life in my hands.” It took decades of learning, a couple of moves that resulted living on the other side of the country, raising their children, and a twist of fate that Robin and her husband, Rich — a fellow potter — opened the Carson City Art Gallery and Pottery in downtown Carson City in September. “Oh my God, I love it here,” she said. “I just love it here. I love coming here every day. I greet the building when I get here every morning.” When McGregor returned to New York from that visit to her sister, she eventually found a potter who taught classes from his Long Island home. She studied with him for two years before the family moved to Manchester, N.H., where she enrolled in classes in the New Hampshire Institute of Art. She graduated in 2003 and moved the next year to Virginia City. After a short-lived business venture running a half museum and half pottery store, Rich went to work teaching math at the high school and Robin took a part-time job. “I was still throwing, but not very much,” she said. But the clay still called, and she started teaching at the Brewery Arts Center, then moved to the basement of the Children’s Museum to run her own pottery classes. She owned a studio on Winnie Lane and was working at the Farmer’s Market on the Empty Bowls project — an effort to reduce hunger in the community — when she saw the “for rent” sign. The sign stood in front of the historic stagecoach building from the 1860s. “I thought it would be great for classes,” McGregor said. “Then my husband saw the building, and he said, ‘No, this building needs to be an art gallery.’ Once he said that, I knew he was right.” The gallery displays work from more than 30 local artists, including painting, photography, pottery, gourds, jewelry and more. “It’s growing constantly,” McGregor said. Find out more about Carson City Art Gallery and Pottery, 110 S. Curry St., on Facebook or (775) 313-8628. When Sarah Morey has extra money to spend, she said, she usually spends it at the Artisan Store at the Brewery Arts Center. “This stuff is not mass produced,” she said. “An individual took hour and hours of talent to make this. You now have one piece of art no one else will ever have.” Morey, a photographer, not only displays her own work in the store but also serves as its manager. “Even though I grew up here, I only learned about the Brewery Arts Center four-and-a-half years ago,” she explained. “When I walked in and saw all the art, I thought, ‘I want to do this, too.’” The store features the work of local artists, including potters, photographers, woodworkers, fabric artists, metal workers and others. “You find art here you couldn’t find anywhere else,” she said. “It’s unique art.” Each month, a different artist is spotlighted and his or her work is displayed prominently in the store. Despite it’s originality, it’s also affordable. “Prices are reasonable,” she said. “In fact, they’re pretty low.” Just walking in the store can be enriching in itself. “You feel the culture of the area,” Morey said. “Art stimulates the parts of the brain that are otherwise asleep.” Find our more about the Artisan Store, 449 W. King St., at breweryarts.org or (775) 883-1976.