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Bliss Life

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100 Years of Reno Rodeo History on the Sutro Street Wall

“Public art is a reflection of how we see the world – the artist’s response to our time and place combined with our own sense of who we are.” – Association for Public Art

From murals and iron sculptures to painted electrical boxes, public art is an integral part of Reno culture. More than 175 murals, sculptures, and other works of art can be found throughout downtown Reno and the Midtown District. Public art inspires community spirit and can transform what once was a target for graffiti into a beautiful tribute and valued cornerstone of a community.

World renowned muralist and Reno resident, Erik Burke, is a former graffiti artist who used to tag walls before being told to channel his art in a positive way. Today, he is the creator of hundreds of public masterpieces worldwide and has been a key player in the movement to beautify the City of Reno through works of art. He has now been commissioned by the Reno Rodeo Association to depict the first 100 years of the Reno Rodeo on 700 feet of wall space beginning with the year 1919 at the corner of Oddie and Sutro Street, working south and finishing with the year 2019 at Gate 6 of the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, current home of the Reno Rodeo.

The mural is divided into 10 sections representing the 10 decades of the rodeo. Each of the ten sections includes images of people and events representing that decade, and the belt motif throughout has buckles which also match the culture of each ten-year period. Work on the project began in early April and will be completed before this year’s Reno Rodeo in June.

Clint Wells - Reno Rodeo President 1981, Photo Courtesy of Reno Rodeo Association

Clint Wells, a passionate Reno native, historian, former rodeo competitor, judge, and past president of the Reno Rodeo Association (1981) has been involved with the Reno Rodeo for 51 years and is visibly giddy when he talks about the Sutro Street Wall. “The Sutro Street mural is an exciting way to get the Reno arts community involved in the celebration of 100 years of the Reno Rodeo while beautifying the rodeo grounds and giving the surrounding neighborhoods that community pride that makes Reno and the rodeo so special.”