Glimpse of City’s Arts

Culture Vision in New Mural


Carson City’s inaugural public mural depicts a pair of eyes viewing a continuation of the live tree behind the wall at a public parking lot on North Curry between West Ann and West Sophie streets.

“I wanted to work with the site,” said artist Erik Burke, 37, who added the eyes symbolize the city’s vision for the area. “My main focus is trying to get past an aesthetic and just get into telling a narrative about that place.”

Joel Dunn, executive director of  Carson City Visitors Bureau, said the piece is part of the city’s direction to focus more on the arts.

“It’s primarily an introduction to what art can be and the impact it can have on not only the residents of Carson City but also the visitors,” he said.

Burke’s use of nature, portrayed in his submitted portfolio, led to his being chosen, from among five applicants from Carson City, Reno and Truckee, for the project.


The entire effort was a collaboration between the Downtown Business Association, whose members mostly comprised the selection committee, the CCVB and the city. The groups love the final product, said Kyle Horvath, CCVB marketing director.

VB2Q – Mural art

For Burke, a Reno native, mural painting slowly and unexpectedly grew from a hobby into a career. After earning two degrees — a bachelor’s in digital media with a minor in geography at the University of Nevada, Reno and a master’s in design and technology at New York’s Parsons school — he coded and designed Web sites, disliking it.

The artist started creating murals for merely the cost of supplies while working odd jobs, which evolved into paid mural gigs intermittently and eventually into sustainable, full-time work. In Northern Nevada alone, he’s done about 30 murals, seven of those in Carson City.


Without formal art training, Burke honed his talent and practiced by graffitiing large expanses such as railcars, paying the price for doing so in jail time and fines.

Today, five Burke murals adorn walls inside the Carson Nugget. Others can be seen during Art Spot Reno’s monthly Midtown Mural Tour. His website,, features all of his work.

VB2Q – Mural art

As for the capital city, the next step in realizing the vision is for the visitors bureau to hire a new arts and culture coordinator to resume implementing the plan.

“Carson City should be prepared for a renaissance,” Dunn said.