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What began in 1996 as Uptown Downtown Artown… 20 years later is YOUR ARTOWN! Thank you! You have made this happen! What used to be a hot summer month, nestled between the Reno Rodeo and Hot August Nights, has blossomed into the most beloved month of the year in Reno and one of the largest arts and culture festivals in the country.
Artist Franz Szony was just a little boy in Reno when Artown started. He grew up attending many Artown events and after graduating high school, he developed into an extraordinary artist in the medium of painted photography. We have commissioned him to create the original piece of art for the poster, website, Little Book cover and other collateral. His work clearly captures nuances that beautifully depict the essence of 20 years of Artown. We are so fortunate to have Franz give us a taste of his artistry and his roots (rough concept is in the illustration on the left).
His poster will present a dramatic depiction of the mythological goddess, Mnemosyne and her nine daughters, “the Muses.” Mnemosyne is the Titan goddess of memory and remembrance; her name translation to “memory personified.” She is also the goddess of time. Remembering the last 19 years of Artown, she is the perfect beacon for the 20th anniversary.
Mnemosyne had nine daughters, known as “the Muses.” They were deities that gave artists, philosophers and individuals the necessary inspiration for creation. Each was attributed to the following: poetry, history, music, pastoral comedy, tragedy, dance, love poetry, sacred poetry and astronomy. They are seen dancing in a circle, representing harmony and community.
My goal for this image, as in all my images, is to depict a message or a theme as a personified character. In a sense, think of her as “Lady Artown…” The divine feminine is at the core of all the arts. Inspiration is also taken from the silhouette of the Statute of Liberty, the main symbol of which is “Freedom from Oppression.” This is exactly what art has the power to do. Like Lady Liberty’s crown (which is meant to represent “rays of light”), I will crown my main character with the famous starburst that sits atop the “Biggest Little City” arch in downtown Reno. This will bring us full circle, directly relating a Reno icon with the cosmos.
In addition to the symbolism of this photograph, I will have Mnemosyne perched atop a small protrusion of rock, surrounded by water. Although Artown events happen all over the city, the “heart” of Artown lives at Wingfield Park. This park is surrounded by water and is essentially an island. This island will be the setting for our characters as you can see in the depiction.
Not only does my concept follow my love for mysticism and fantasy, but July of 2015 also marks a very special and rare time astrologically. During this month, we will have two full moons, as well as a new moon. This is called a “blue moon,” and happens so rarely, it is what coins the term, “once in a blue moon.”
I put a great deal of thought into my concept, and I truly hope you enjoy my plans to create this as a hand-tinted photograph.
Sincerely, Franz Szony
Note: The images depicted in the initial concept were not all utilized in the final rendering. We believe
it truly reflects Artown and it's 20 years of strength, power and art!