Great Basin College enriches people's lives by providing student-centered, post-secondary education to rural Nevada. Educational, cultural, and related economic needs of the multicounty service area are met through programs of university transfer, applied science and technology, business and industry partnerships, developmental education, community service, and student support services in conjunction with certificates and associate and select baccalaureate degrees.
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The Great Basin College's Art Gallery presents A Brushwork Roundup: Western Paintings and Drawings by Craig Sheppard. A native of southwestern Oklahoma and former bronco rider in Madison Square Garden, Craig Sheppard was remembered as a prime mover in northern Nevada’s cultural community in the years following World War II. He arrived at the University of Nevada in 1947 with the savvy of a seasoned cowboy and the experience necessary to teach most all courses in the art department he had been charged with rebuilding.
Rather than proposing A Brushwork Roundup: Western Paintings and Drawings by Craig Sheppard, as a cross-section of the artist’s career, the co-curators, Jim McCormick and Fred Reid have designed an exhibition that focuses on Sheppard’s abiding fascination with horses.
Sheppard was not a one-dimensional painter; throughout his long career, the artist constantly reinvented himself. However, the one constant subject he returned to—even when he worked in France, Norway or other parts of Europe— was the horse and rider and variations on that theme. A Brushwork Roundup features works that reveal Sheppard’s indebtedness to Picasso and the Surrealists. His late night painting marathons while living in Norway produced hundreds of sumi drawings of horses and riders, images that were more eastern than western. His “Yellow Slicker” series employs transparent watercolor wash at its most sublime, glowing passages of white paper speaking volumes against his equestrian subjects. And there are large abstract canvases, surfaces that are charged with passages of raw contrasting colors and uncharacteristic impasto.
Viewers can expect to be challenged by Sheppard’s variations on the theme of horse and rider. The artist reached back to earlier times in Nevada when it was the least urban of all the states. Today the exhibit will resonate with those who venture beyond urban limits and encounter still existent ranches, cowboys and wild horses on Nevada’s rangeland.
ABOUT: Co-curated by Jim McCormick and Fred Reid and organized by the Nevada Arts Council, A Brushwork Roundup: Western Paintings and Drawings by Craig Sheppard is part of the Nevada Touring Initiative–Traveling Exhibition Program. It was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nevada State Legislature. The Nevada Arts Council is a division of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.
Presented by Great Basin College and the GBC Arts and Cultural Enrichment (ACE) Committee!
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Great Basin College wants to be your choice for higher education. GBC offers associate and baccalaureate level instruction in career and technical education and academic areas. About 3,800 students are enrolled online from across the country and on campuses and centers across 86,500 square miles, two time zones, and ten of Nevada’s largest counties. We border Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and California. We are GBC!
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