As long as I’ve been at the Collective these lockers have stood inaccessible and useless, combinations long lost, and we’ve had no place for members to lock up their goodies when they step out for lunch. This situation was intolerable to Ann, who began a multipronged campaign to restore access to the innards of the steel monolith. One of her actions took the form of a challenge to Reno Bridgewire to help us gain entry by any means in their possession. Dan and his posse rose to the occasion, first using a flexible camera to read the serial numbers from the backs of the lockers. Unfortunately that information got us nowhere with the Masterlock bureaucracy, so Dan returned to have another go. He soon found a “key” and quickly opened all the lockers so we could disable the combinations and let people use their own locks. What was the key you ask? Luckily I took a photo.
It’s pretty colorful in the Collective building, but now, even more. Reno artist Richard Wells has lent 22 of his rich abstract pieces to our humble offices to liven up the blank walls. (see photos) Installed February 17 by the artist himself, Richard’s works are bright acrylic paints combined with tons and tons of texture. Look closely and you recognize buttons, nails, jewels, pieces of paper, cloth, leather and other surprises. Richard has a long history in theater costume design, an inspiration that has seeped into this work.
Richard loves to travel and always brings back bits and scraps from each adventure. He incorporates these into a composition, as his impression of the time or place, obvious by the names of the works such as “Night Market/Bankok” and “Prague Castle.” He uses acrylic paint because, he admits, “I have no patience to wait for oils to dry” and prefers bright colors, especially purples, in part as a response to his slight colorblindness. The pieces that are showing at the Collective were created over a three-four year period, but Richard has been using these same techniques for most of his 30 years as an artist.
We’re so thrilled to have Richard’s work inspiring our offices, and may never let him take them back. We’re thankful to Jill Berryman of the Nevada Alliance for Arts Education (a Reno Collective member) for introducing the idea and Richard to us. Yes, the pieces are for sale but hands off the purple one I have my eye on. Be sure to wander around the halls and check out all of Richard’s work, or visit him at his website at www.RichardWellsArt.com.
Many thanks to Richard for sharing his fabulous talent with us.
Photos courtesy of Calvert Photography (thanks, David).