EAT YOUR ART OUT
Artown events combine food and art.
WRITTEN BY JENNIFER RACHEL BAUMER
POSTER ART BY COURTNEY MEREDITH OF DESIGN ON THE EDGE
Summer in Reno means warm-weather foods, outdoor dining, balmy nights — and Artown. This year edible Reno-Tahoe will sponsor two events as part of the month-long Artown festival that combines local food, local art, and exceptional locales.
Art of the Cocktail
Chapel Tavern in Reno hosts Art of the Cocktail on July 17, pairing five bartenders with five artists. Each duo uses one of five Nevada-related themes — river, lake, desert, forest, and mountain — as inspiration to create original art and drinks.
"We didn't want to do a cocktail contest format," says Duncan Mitchell, owner of Chapel Tavern.
Rather, he wanted the bartenders to invent the drink recipes beforehand. Then they could be free to mingle and explain their inspirations during the event.
"That sounds like it will be more fun for everybody involved," he says.
Art produced will be available via silent auction there, with proceeds benefitting Urban Roots Garden Classrooms, a garden education nonprofit committed to changing how kids eat. Proceeds from the cocktails also will go to Urban Roots.
Reno artist Kelly Peyton, whose theme is river, says, "I'm pretty happy I didn't get mountain or desert, because my work already has those elements. River is something different to work with."
"I really love the whole concept of local vendors, local bartenders, local artists, locally grown food," says Maria Partridge, a Reno artist. "I like the idea that all of that is happening now, in this area, and anything I can do to be a part of that and collaborate with like-minded people, I find very exciting."
The event is free and open to the public.
On July 9, celebrate the grand opening of NEO Artspace, the University of Nevada, Reno's first off-campus gallery, with a four-course meal provided by Bowl and Rawr at West Street Market in Reno. Enjoy a sit-down dinner and explore the food-and-farmers-themed art exhibit in the new gallery.
Peter Goin, UNR Department of Art chair, says he and other art department managers wanted to launch NEO Artspace with a splash, so they're combining mutual interests of food and art, and working with other downtown businesses.
"We're convinced a gallery downtown could help businesses by bringing people into downtown," Goin says.
The dinner features dishes from West Street Market restaurants Bowl and Rawr. The first course comes from the Rawr bar. The second highlights produce from Reno's Earth Alchemy Farm and River School Farm. The third showcases beef from Van Norman Ranches, based just outside Elko, according to Heather Fuss of Bowl. Dessert celebrates the season with peaches and homemade ice cream, with peaches provided by Watanabe Farms in Sacramento. Wine is provided by Cepage Selections. Proceeds benefit NEO Artspace. The event is $65 per person and includes dinner, wine, and entry to the gallery.
"Larry and I both believe what makes a community interesting and thrive is when local citizens participate, create, and support one another," Fuss says. "We believe in participating in Artown and trying to make Reno a better place."
Jennifer Rachel Baumer is a local freelance writer who waits impatiently for summer's fresh, local bounty.
West Street Market Courtyard, 148 West St., Reno
6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 9
To buy tickets and for details, call Heather Fuss at Bowl restaurant at 775-327-4443 or Amanda Burden at edible Reno-Tahoe at 775-746-3299
Art of the Cocktail
Chapel Tavern, 1495 S. Virginia St., Reno
8 p.m. Wednesday, July 17
Artown takes place July 1 – 31. For details on this year's festival, visit http://www.Renoisartown.com