Artown selected Michelle Lassaline as the 2016 Poster artist. Her visual concept will represent the July 2016 Festival and the non-profit’s twenty-first year. In November, following a call to artists, a panel of arts professionals reviewed a total of 32 submissions, finding Lassaline’s proposal fanciful and reflective of Reno’s emerging culture; the 2016 poster will emphasize and portray animals native to the Reno area personified in artistic movements.
Lassaline is a fourth generation Nevadan and a graduate of University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with an emphasis in painting and performance, and a minor in Art History in spring of 2014. Many of Lassaline’s creations draw from her memories and experiences in Nevada landscape and culture. She says, “The concept [for the 2016 Poster] was inspired by my project for Artown's 20th Anniversary in 2015, in which I performed weekly as "Coyote," drawing portraits of the public as their favorite animals. This year's poster art shows Coyote marching with her fellow Nevadan animals in a festive parade that celebrates the performing and visual arts that thrive in our community.”
For two decades, Artown has invited audiences to embrace multidisciplinary arts by recognizing and promoting artists who excel in their craft. Executive Director of Artown, Beth Macmillan, says, “This is a pinnacle time for Michelle. She has decided to pursue art as a full-time career and has received great exposure from numerous organizations. We commissioned her last year for her mask performance art at Wingfield Park; she has been featured at the University of Nevada, Reno, the Nevada Museum of Art, The Holland Project, Sierra Arts Foundation, Oats Park Art Center in Fallon, and many others. We are eager to highlight her talent as an icon for the 2016 Festival”.
You can experience Michelle’s work this July at Sierra Arts Gallery on July 7th; children ages 6 – 12 will be mesmerized by her characters on July 12 at McKinley Arts and Culture Center.