Arts and Culture

Touring Reno's Neon

Apr 22, 2019
Krysta Scripter

The best way to experience neon is to step into the night air, get up close and let the light sink in. Reno MoMo, or Modern Movement, is hosting neon walking tours that let everyday people do just that. The group takes curious guests through back alleys and down busy roads to share the tales of the neon. Holly Hutchings joined them on a recent stroll and has this story.

Lightning In A Bottle...Or Tube

Apr 19, 2019
A huge, brightly lit neon sign of a horse and its rider stands tall on Fremont Street in Las Vegas.
Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The science of neon hasn't changed in over a century. What charged the gas to life as a 1900's advertising medium still burns it brightly today. For KUNR's detailed series on neon, Holly Hutchings traveled to our counterpart in the South and spoke with a physicist about what he calls, lightning in a bottle. 

Hunting Neon In Rural And Urban Nevada

Apr 17, 2019
A pink neon sign in the shape of a woman resting in a large martini glass glows from the window of The Sandpiper in Elko.
Peter and Sheila Laufer

Nevada’s urban hubs and hidden rural pockets have long been dotted with neon signs. Authors Peter Laufer and Sheila Laufer used to live in Silver City and have crisscrossed Nevada three times over 40 years, hunting that neon. Their book, Neon Nevada, captures the changing story of neon across the region with colorful images and detailed narratives. Holly Hutchings caught up with them to learn about what they saw on their nocturnal quests.

Sheila and Peter Laufer

As part of the "Sparked: Northern Nevada's Neon" series we are taking you on a visual road trip across rural Nevada to explore some of the states iconic neon signs. Images for this storymap were provided by Sheila and Peter Laufer, authors of Neon Nevada

Jana Sayson

In 1872, a lead box was embedded in the foundation of the Reno Mercantile building. On Tuesday, the contents of this time capsule were revealed to the public. As KUNR’s Bree Zender reports, the box housed newspapers, coins, a bottle opener and a few surprises. 

Going Dark: Rescuing Nevada's Neon Signs

Apr 17, 2019
An old, faded sign stands tall with the letters for "motel" stacked high.
Holly Hutchings

Motels are coming down in Reno, and with that, their signs - works of art and advertising from the automobile revolution - have been lost. While Reno redevelops, bits of roadside history are being discarded. A few dedicated folks are working to recognize and also preserve these icons. KUNR’s Holly Hutchings learned more and has this report.

Neon Sign Preservation Goes Digital

Apr 8, 2019
A man and woman sit at a computer, working on a website to digitally preserve neon signs.
Holly Hutchings

You’ve heard of classic neon signs of bygone buildings being preserved in museums and boneyards, but one professor at the University of Nevada, Reno is taking preservation digital. Dr. Katherine Hepworth is working with a team to document neon signs from Reno’s past, as well as signs left standing, with the goal of eventually allowing all to access and enjoy the design and history of the signs. KUNR’s Holly Hutchings talked to her about the project and has this interview.

Video: 38 Years Of Making Neon In Northern Nevada

Apr 4, 2019
A man stands in front of a work table, holding a small neon sign.
Krysta Scripter

Ken Hines has been working with neon for 38 years and describes himself as the last full-time neon tube-bender in Northern Nevada, making him an asset to the local sign industry. He won't be around forever though, and when KUNR first met him, he was looking for an apprentice. 

Since then, he's found one, and he expects to stay in business for another 10 or so years while also teaching his craft to the next generation.  KUNR took a look inside his studio at Artech to learn more. 

Last Of The Full-time Tube Benders: Ken Hines

Apr 4, 2019
A man in a plaid shirt bends a tube of glass while blowing into it as part of his neon craft.
Holly Hutchings

Blowing and bending glass tubes his whole working life, Ken Hines has helped illuminate the Reno skyline for nearly forty years by creating countless neon signs, but his workload has dwindled and craftsman like him are fading away, like the neon they create. KUNR’s Holly Hutchings caught up with Hines at his work station at Artech, a coworking space in Reno, and has his story.

What's Happening To Northern Nevada's Neon?

Apr 3, 2019
Virginia Street in Reno at night.
Holly Hutchings

Neon and Nevada go hand in hand. The flashing tube lights are synonymous with the Silver State and have long told our story. Neon has surged in popularity at times and fizzled out in others. KUNR's Arts and Culture Reporter Holly Hutchings has been looking into this integral part of Nevada's identity and talked with News Director Michelle Billman about the stories she’s discovered.

Creative Contest Aims To Raise Hunger Awareness

Mar 8, 2019
White cans with blue ones in the center in the shape of a platapus.
Holly Hutchings

Whether it’s an octopus or the pyramids of Giza, 12 teams of builders are using canned good to bring hunger awareness to the community through the art of “can sculpting.” 

More Than 50 Carson Artists Showcased At Reno Airport

Feb 27, 2019
A group of three people gather in front paintings depicting Northern Nevada.
Holly Hutchings

Fifty-three Carson City artists are putting their work on a stage seen by millions a year, the walls of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Holly Hutchings has the story.

New Cowboy Poet Pays Homage To History

Feb 3, 2019
A man in a khaki button down shirt stands at an angle in front of a tree.
Joshua Dugat

Elko's 35th annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering wrapped up this weekend. Nearly 50 poets, musicians and musical groups, including diverse and dynamic new voices, have shared their artistry. The event is older than Josh Dugat, a first-time presenter, whose poetry pays homage to the  boots that stood on stage before him. KUNR's Holly Hutchings has more with him. 

Protecting Water, Moving Hearts Through Cowboy Poetry

Jan 30, 2019
A woman with long brown hair and wearing a red mexican-style dress standing on a bridge.
Olivia Romo

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is underway in Elko, Nevada this week. One young poet taking the stage is Olivia Romo, a bilingual activist who uses her art to tackle environmental issues facing the West. She told KUNR’s Holly Hutchings why she thinks poetry can spark change.

TREVOR PAGLEN AND NEVADA MUSEUM OF ART

A piece of art the size of two school buses, and ten years in the making, is now orbiting Earth. Partnering with organizations in Northern Nevada, Berlin-based artist Trevor Paglen saw his sculpture take off and help change the way we see things in the night sky, as well as here on the ground. KUNR’s Holly Hutchings has more on the endeavor.

Bree Zender

Farmers across the country have been preparing to harvest turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday. One school in Smith Valley is raising its own turkeys as a way to teach students how food gets from the farm to the plate. KUNR’s Bree Zender reports.

A Nevada Prison Doctor's View From The Inside

Nov 8, 2018
A blond woman stands on the grounds of a prison, between a guard tower and a mulit-level brick prison buildilng.
Lauren Casto

To pay back a medical school scholarship, Dr. Karen Gedney was required to work four years in an underserved area, and she got assigned to the Northern Nevada Correctional Center back in the 80's. It's a medium security facility outside of Carson City. Gedney ended up staying her whole career. She says the job was a 'calling' that provided her the chance to be a real healer. Her new book, 30 Years Behind Bars, chronicles her experiences as a prison doc, and KUNR’s Holly Hutchings spoke with her about it.  

Does Art Mean Business In Northern Nevada?

Sep 25, 2018
Brown metal vines with glass leaves wrap around patio posts at a Reno restaurant. They were fashioned by local artisans, commissioned by Tilio Lagatta. Lagatta's company redevelops buildings and has been including art to add punch and hopefully value.
Holly Hutchings

A report from The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that arts and cultural production accounted for over $6 billion of the silver state's economy in 2015. As KUNR's Holly Hutchings reports, business leaders are looking for ways to use cultural contributions to grow and improve their industries.

Preserving Olympic Memories Before Evidence Is Erased

Sep 14, 2018
Holly Hutchings

An exhibit paying homage to the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics is on display at the Truckee Community Recreation Center. Everything from vintage uniforms and rarely seen photography to illustrations by Walt Disney --a huge fan of skiing--are also showcased. The memorabilia are some of the last remaining vestiges of a games that changed winter sports and the Tahoe-Truckee region. Our arts reporter Holly Hutchings visited the exhibit and talked with one avid Olympic collector and author to learn more.

 Steve Benjamin mayor of Columbia, South Carolina speaks about his investments during his presidency with the U.S Confernece of Mayors .
Stephanie Serrano

A group of mayors from across the country are looking to Reno as an example of how arts and culture can power local economies. KUNR's Stephanie Serrano has more.

Pages