A High Desert Tribute
CCAI Exhibition in WNC’s Bristlecone Gallery
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Sidne Teske said, “Landscapes fascinate me.” In A High Desert Tribute exhibition for the Capital City Arts Initiative, Teske presents paintings of dynamic landscapes and another series of compelling figure studies.
The free exhibit is open to the public January 9 — April 13, 2023, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., in Western Nevada College’s Bristlecone Gallery, 2201 West College Parkway, Carson City. Join CCAI for the opening reception, Tuesday, January 24, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m with the artist introduction at 5:30 p.m.
Thirty-six paintings offer a retrospective of Teske art from 1995 – 2022. Working almost exclusively in soft pastels, she takes the scale of her landscapes and figure studies well-past traditional small compositions into large works that measure in square feet. Her active mark-making brings viewers into each composition while the dramatic large scale commands attention.
Teske discussed what motivates her to paint. “People ask me what I find to paint in Nevada, a landscape that is viewed as harsh, boring, and colorless. I find it breathtaking, especially in the mornings and late afternoons, when the light describes the geometry of my surroundings and the colors are blinding. I want people to realize that Nevada is worth looking at.”
Describing her preference for using soft pastels in the work, she said “Although they are not wet like oils or watercolors, pastels are for me the perfect painting medium. I can work quickly and there is no drying time. I paint on location, in one shot, on vibrantly colored sanded paper. I like the energy of the marks I make while racing the sun.”
She comments on her figure compositions, saying, “Some also wonder why my figures have no faces and often no heads. I think body attitudes disclose more emotional information than faces, which we can use to hide the truth. I convey emotions through exaggerated body positions combined with the interchange of positive and negative space. I want viewers to feel something in their bodies when they view my work.
“So how do external landscapes and internal landscapes connect? People are a duality. We exist on two fronts, what others see of us and what we see of ourselves. The landscape we live in influences responses, and our emotional space affects our response to the environment. My work is an exploration of these interactions.”
Teske has received many awards and honors. In 2003 she was commissioned by the Nevada Arts Council to make three works to be awarded to the Governor, the Nevada State Assembly and the Nevada State Senate in recognition for their parts in creating the Nevada Arts Council 50 years prior (1967). In 2014 Nevada Humanities commissioned Teske to make 14 pieces for presentation to organizations and individuals who had made a difference in the arts in Nevada. Also in 2014 she was awarded a mentorship by the Nevada Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) to study under Caldecott Award-winning illustrator David Diaz.
Teske was the State of Nevada representative at the Folklife Festival on the Mall for the Smithsonian Institution in 2005. She created the Nevada Governor’s Arts awards that were presented in 2004, and a poster she designed for the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Rock Art Association won first place at the National Competition of the Society of American Archaeologists in 2003.
Her paintings are included in numerous collections: Renown Hospital in Reno, NV; Interlachen in Colorado; Embassy Suites at South Shore Lake Tahoe; and Harrah’s High Roller Suite at South Shore, Lake Tahoe.
Josie Glassberg wrote the essay for the exhibition — available online and in the gallery. Glassberg is a freelance writer whose work has regularly appeared in Double Scoop Art News, the Reno News & Review, and Fibonacci magazine. She attended St. Olaf College for printmaking and enjoys writing about art in the West when she’s not busy with her main gig as a garden teacher.
Carlos Ramirez, a Western Nevada College Latino Leadership Academy student, provided a Spanish translation of the show’s wall text.
Western Nevada College is a component of the Nevada System of Higher Education, with campuses in Carson City, Douglas County, and Fallon. CCAI is an artist-centered nonprofit 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 www.ccainv.org.