Capital City Arts Initiative [CCAI]

Exhibition at the CCAI Courthouse Gallery

885 E Musser Street

Carson City, Nevada 89701

contact: Sharon Rosse



Exhibition at CCAI Courthouse Gallery

 Carson City, Nevada — The Capital City Arts Initiative’s exhibition, Chinoiseries, presents Gwaylon Leaf’s paintings that use a visual language synthesized from Taoist coded language and symbols.

The exhibition runs at the Courthouse Gallery from October 5, 2022 – January 26, 2023. The Courthouse is located at 885 E Musser Street, Carson City; the gallery is open Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm.

Growing up surrounded by Taoist philosophy and Chinese art instilled in him a fascination for the calligraphic form. This influence comes from his father who was an artist and professor of art. His childhood was punctuated by frequent trips to San Francisco where the fog and mist of the bay area created a fascination with that sense of isolation and visual filtering the fogs create. He smiled, “Growing up eating my noodles with chopsticks gave me a mixed sense of perspective to the world.”

Being a multicultural person gives Leaf a varied personal view. Perceived as being too white looking to be Chinese but too Asian looking to be considered white, revealed to him that most notions of culture can become alienating. With his art he embraces a sense of otherness that his cultures have granted him. He draws from his influence with traditional Chinese artists and mixes that with the aesthetic sensibilities of contemporary western artists such as Cy Twombly and Mark Toby.

He graduated with a BFA degree in 2015 from UNLV and earned a MFA degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2020. He lives in Reno and teaches art for Western Nevada College at the Fallon campus.

Carlos Ramirez, a Western Nevada College Latino Leadership Academy student, provided a Spanish language translation of the show’s wall text.

CCAI is an artist-centered not-for-profit organization committed to community engagement in contemporary visual arts through exhibitions, illustrated talks, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online activities.

The Initiative is funded by the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, John and Grace Nauman Foundation, Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, Carson City Cultural Commission, U.S. Bank Foundation, Kaplan Family Charitable Fund, Southwest Gas Corporation Foundation, Steele & Associates LLC, and CCAI sponsors and members.

For additional information, please visit CCAI’s website at