The artist, activist and sometimes candidate for office stepped into the role of co-organizer for the event, now in its sixth year. Created as an alternative for artists not represented in Reno’s monthlong Artown event in July, Nada Dada has expanded to more than just the small motels around Second Street and Arlington Avenue. This year with participation from more than 500 artists, the event has grown to include a presence at Wildflower Village near the Truckee River at 4275 Fourth St., at Reno Artworks at 1995 Dickerson Road, at Strega Bar on Arlington just north of Liberty Street and near Java Jungle in down town Reno.
“The event is about art and there will be some great art at Wildflower, but part of beauty of event for me is taking an old, funked-out downtown motel room and turning it into a hermitage gallery. We’ll be turning downtown into an exciting place to be for four days. It’s kind of reclaiming urbanity. I feel strongly about that because I grew up in Chicago and watched the inner city get the life sucked out of it by the suburbs.”
At Nada Dada, there are no judges and no jury to tell artists whether they can participate. If they can get a room, they can be part of the exhibit, Holland said. A wide range of artists are participating, from photographers to painters to installation artists. One example is Cindy Gunn, who is creating a room with art about what genetically modified food is doing to us and the world.
“I got this idea while making a head of an animal from which to hang jewelry,” said Gunn, who teaches ceramics to disabled adults in the area. “I thought to myself, ‘Oh these would be cool to sell at Nada Dada,’ but then it struck me that they reminded me of genetically modified organisms. I do not personally eat genetically modified food if I can help it.”
Then, of course, there is Holland, known largely as a landscape artist but who will be doing a “Wrecked Toe Spective,” in which he is considering destroying some of his own paintings from throughout his career as a symbol of protest against his current cause: the detainment provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act.
“If they can destroy a thousand years of civil libeties I can destory a lifetime’s worth of artwork,” Holland said.
For more information about the event, visit nadadadamotel.weebly.com or look up the Nada Dada group on Facebook.